Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tea Cups - A Story

As part of the Gracious Hospitality Blog-a-Thonwe are sharing some pictures of our tea cup collection. The assignment for this week is to share your favorite tea cup, and its story. It is difficult to select a favorite tea cup, but I can do it! This first photograph is part of a collection of a children's tea set, made in Japan, that was given to me by my mother's sister when I was little. This children's set even includes a casserole, a platter, and salt and pepper shakers. I played with this set for many hours. As a little girl, I can remember having tea parties with my dollies and bears, getting hot water from the powder room, and pretending to take tea with friends. Eventually, when I transitioned from make-believe to actually owning a tea room, my Mother graciously gave me her tea cup collection. She was glad to have the new found space for her ever expanding collections. I was fortunate to have well over 40 tea cups for my then new adventure. My collection count now exceeds 100. . . each beautiful and with its own story.



These tea cup displays are in the tea room. The long skinny shelf holds a few of the tea cups I inherited from my Aunt, and this cupboard full of special tea cups are some of the cups my Mother gave to me. It is in a hidden corner in the tea room, and not many people notice it, but it is full of treasures.
Last year, while vacationing in London, I picked up this beautiful tea cup while at Windsor Castle. On the bottom it reads "The Royal Collection, English Fine Bone China". The card in the beautiful blue box states it was commissioned to celebrate the 80th birthday of H. M. Queen Elizabeth II, 21 April 2006. It is a fond remembrance of a very special trip. Although beautiful, it's not my absolute favorite.
If I had to choose, I would have to say that this lovely cup with swirling violets is my favorite. It was discovered while poking around in a now out-of-business second hand shop in downtown Mechanicsburg. Although priced at a much higher price than what I typically will pay for a tea cup, it 'spoke to me' when I saw it! (Buy me! Take me home!, things like that.) It is delicate and elegant. I love the violets, the fancy base of the tea cup, and the character of the plate. On the bottom, it is marked Mitterteich, Bavaria, Germany. This tea cup is not in service, but rather on display - too lovely to use, definitely a favorite!

10 comments:

Martha said...

What a lovely story and collection! Your teacups are displayed so nicely, too.
The violet cup and saucer is one of the prettiest violet ones I have ever seen.

La Tea Dah said...

Nancy, thank you so much for a lovely post. As a child, I'm sure you never imagined that one day your treasured tea set would represent your passion for tea and the tea room that resulted from that passion. It's is beautiful! And the Queen R teacup --- very, very special. It's beautiful. But I can see why the violets teacup and saucer is your chosen one. It is delicate, beautifully painted, and represents who you are. Thank you so much for participating in the Gracious Hospital-i-Tea blog-a-thon. I enjoyed your post very much.

LaTeaDah

La Tea Dah said...

Hmmm, I meant to say the Queen Elizabeth R ---

Linda said...

All your teacups are lovely! I agree the Queen ER is not my favorite teacup either, but we did have great fun shopping for them didn't we? The violets teacup is very outstanding!

kathi said...

Nancy, what an amazing collection you have, I love your stories especially keeping the tea set you had as a child, that is truly rare. I love the violet teacup, so pretty.

Kathi :)

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

It's been great fun to view your teacup collection. Your favorite has the most wonderful feet!

Steph said...

Mmmmmm...I LOVE the children's set! How fabulous! And I must admit, I am rather partial to the one from Windsor Castle!

fireflynights said...

You have a beautiful collection. The ones on the wooden shelf with the hearts cut in it are especially appealing. Several of them seem to be calling out to me. You're lucky to have found such pretty ones.

Gina E. said...

Ditto to all the above! Your collection is truly stunning, and so beautifully displayed. Fancy still having your childhood teaset intact after all this time. You must have been a very careful little person! I remember having 'afternoon tea' with my little friends as a child but I don't remember what we used - possibly a tiny set from my dolls house!

Arleen ~ The Tea Room said...

Hello! The children's tea set is a very close match to the set my father brought from Japan for my mother in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I now have that set, but it was packed away since I moved a couple of years ago. I have a feeling we have a match!

I just joined the tea blogathon and will be catching up soon with Week #1. I'll try to include a photo of a tea cup from that set. Interesting! ~Arleen