I am not sure whether I'd classify the shops I visited on my recent mini-vacation in the Catskills as low-end antique shops or high-end junk shops. But I did find some rather unusual tea cups and saucers. This cup and saucer was quite a surprise when I unwrapped it at home. While in the rather dark shop, I had taken note of the footed cup and the rather detailed medallion on the side. What I didn't notice until I got home was that the saucer had an openwork pattern ... the shop was very dark, indeed, probably not a very good sign. "Caveat emptor" should have been reverberating through my brain, no doubt. This set has a maker's mark indicating this is made by a company called Royal Hansley. I couldn't get a very good picture of the mark since, even viewed the a magnifying glass, it looks out-of-focus. A few days later, at another shop, I saw a cup with the very same medallion detail, though the cup had a differnt base treatment and the saucer it was paired with didn't seem to match. Needless to say, I didn't buy the second ... but found the identical medallion image to be quite the suspiscious coincidence. This is the only vacation purchase I regret now that I am home. I think I got caught up in the thrill of the chase, rummaging around the shops looking for lovlies to add to my collection of tea cups. But it will mix well with other black background teacups I have. The cup has a nice enough balance and feels light in the hand. While it will never be my favorite, I will use it with pleasure.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This post will show just how much of a magpie I really am. If it's a pretty bauble, I'll buy it whether it is a true teaware collectible or not. This lovely little Johnson Brothers demitasse cup and saucer is an example ... a very modern piece since the manufacturer's mark clearly states that it is dishwasher and microwave safe ... probably not particularly collectible [yet] but quite sweet with it's pastoral cottage design. The other piece, a lovely creamer bearing the mark of Jonroth England, does seem to be a bit more venerable. Though made in England, it was clearly made for the American market since it depicts Plymouth Rock and John and Priscilla Alden. I forsee some pleasant hours browsing the Internet to research this piece to gauge it's age and value. But I am already quite fond of it. I did my graduate work in early American literature, so much of my studies concerned early journals, letters and documents written by the early European settlers on these shores. I rather like the notion of John and Priscilla keeping me company at tea time. The only thing these pieces have in common is Staffordshire as the place of origin and the lovely rose pink color. I shall have to find a few other pieces to blend into my own eclectic tea set: a sugar bowl, a few cake plates and cups and saucers. I can see this sort of collecting growing into an obsession of sorts. I have already built up several tea sets in Depression Glass and now I am moving on to china. I suppose I could have worse vices.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
While vacationing in Greene County earlier this month, I did my usual round of the "antique" shops in the area. We are not talking gallery type shops with museum quality antiques but rather indoor flea markets. Even so, some small treasures may be found in such places. I will be showing photos of my finds over the next week or so.
First up is this beautiful cup and saucer from Royal Chelsea. What caught my eye at first was the autumnal leaf pattern, the pretty shape of the shallow bowl of the cup. Turning it over to look for a mark, I noted that it was a "limited" edition, 470 of Lord knows how many. I'll have to spend a little time on the Internet. I have a lot to learn yet about the various china manufacturers and really don't know how much of a find this cup and saucer might be. But that's okay since I really bought it because I liked the pattern. In fact, I am enjoying a cup of Chun Mee organic green tea in this cup as I type this post. The colors are among my favorites and seem so appropriate this fine October morning.