I have been promising Kim from The Last House in America that I would post some pics so we can have a little tea cup comparing/admiring session.
Of course books and tea cups are two of the most essential components of one of the finest pleasures in life - the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down (the other component being, of course, a biscuit or a piece of cake, but we won't mention those in the interests of waistlines and general decorum).Apart from a few family heirlooms and the proper grown-up 'best tea service' (rarely used), my tea cup collection falls neatly into two camps. I don't have time today to take pics of the others, so for now I give you what I think of as my 'sprigged muslin' collection.
These are mostly early- to mid-Victorian and hand-painted (some over a transfered background), and they put me in mind of a Janeite world of sprigged dress fabrics and the genteel partaking of tea in the best parlour. Or on the lawn with strawberries.
As I have neither the resources nor the inclination to spend my days wafting around proper antique shops, these are all very much Rescue Cups - snatched from the jaws of destruction or neglect (or indeed antique dealers) at boot sales, charity shops, village fetes and the odd low-end antique fair. Like Rescue Dogs, most have a few little defects but nothing that can't be overlooked, and bags of character.
I bought my first one for 50p with my student grant in Westgate on Sea, Kent in 1979. At that price I naturally had to think long and hard before closing the deal, but I did and it was well worth it - partly for the bafflement it afforded my flatmates.