Vintage Poinsettias and Holly

Season's Greetings, Tea Friends Last week I shared that I am hosting a Christmas Tea with friends this upcoming Saturday. I've been slowly collecting bone china Christmas teacups. In the last post I featured "Christmas Roses" by Queens. Here are three more vintage Christmas teacups that I've added to my collection. All were purchased on etsy. I must admit that this is my favorite holiday teacup. It is a Royal Albert from the Flower of the Month series. I would love to collect more from this series.
There are two Flower of the Month series. The first one was produced from the 1950s to 1960s and featured holly as the December flower. The cup shapes were Hampton, Countess and Gainsborough. 
My teacup is from the second series produced in the 1970s with Montrose shape cups.

Here is another Royal Albert titled "Poinsettia."

This was produced in 1976 and has the same high quality of bone china as earlier patterns.

The last teacup is a Queens Rosina in the "Yulet…

Christmas Roses

Welcome December and the Christmas season!
I always look forward to Christmas and each year I try to do something a bit different. After mulling it over for a couple of years, I am (finally) going to host a Christmas Tea with new and old friends. Some years I get caught up in the last minute holiday shopping, decorating, cleaning the house and don't spend enough time with those closest to me. My overall hope for this season is to simply enjoy the company of others and invite people over.

I started collecting vintage Christmas English bone china teacups a few years ago with the hope of one day hosting a Christmas Tea. I have to admit I've been spending a lot of time on etsy looking for other holiday themed teacups (at good prices).
Here is the newest one in my collection: 
December Christmas Rose by Queen's

The rest of my Christmas teacups are red and green, so it is nice to have a different palette. 

The design reminds me of Royal Albert's Flower of the Month series.

I'm …

Celebrate with a Cairo Trio

Come join me as we celebrate the end of autumn with a new tea and trio.

Today's featured teacup is a Shelley from the Cairo line. This trio is new to me, but it certainly isn't new by any means. It is one of my oldest teacup sets with production dates from 1910-1921. It's almost officially an antique. I purchased this trio on Ruby Lane, an online antique marketplace, for the amazing price of ten dollars. The seller did indicate it had flecks of factory dirt in the glaze. For those of you who follow me, you know that I adore Shelley teacups. The flecks of dirt didn't deter me from buying the trio.
Shelley produced a variety of teacup shapes. The teacup is in the Norman style and was named after one of Percy Shelley's sons. This teacup was used for Bestware and Seconds from 1915-1924.
I was surprised to see how visible the flecks of dirt are on the dish. Look closely, can you see the flecks? The Cairo line features an art deco design in green, purple and black which is qu…

Tea Time Accessories ~ Part Two

Please join me as we discover or rediscover some tea time accessories that often go unnoticed. The teapots and teacups garner all the attention, but these beautiful embellishments also deserve some attention. Last January I featured some different accessories which you can view here.

I like how this stainless steel infuser is in the shape of a teapot.
My favorite accessory~ I purchased a set of these teapot-shaped napkin rings at a tearoom seven years ago.
This sweet little dish can serve as a candy dish or an open sugar bowl. It was gifted to me by my Great Aunt who was a prolific antique collector. It's marked and from Vienna, Austria. My only piece from Austria.
I purchased this vintage creamer and sugar set at a tea shop many years ago. I have several other sets, but I enjoy using this one the most because of its tiny flowers and gold gilding.
The back marking shows "Germany, US-Zone." I assume this is West Germany. I am not familiar with German pottery. If anyone knows mor…

San Francisco Tea Festival

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first tea festival! I enjoyed every moment of it.

The San Francisco Tea Festival was located in the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero which overlooks the Bay Bridge. 
The Ferry Building itself is an attraction with its huge farmers' market and wealth of gourmet restaurants, chocolate, honey and coffee shops.

Last Saturday was unseasonably hot in the City-80 degrees! There were so many people walking along the Embaradero that I couldn't get a decent photo, so here is one from the internet.

After a short wait in line, we made our way into the building and were each handed our own "swag" bag complete with tea related samples and a commemorative festival teacup.

The hall is architecturally beautiful, but it was hot! There was no air conditioning and the tables were spaced so close to one another. Everyone was bumping into each other, but since it was a tea loving crowd, everyone was polite and patient but complaining n…

Tea Time Accessories~ Part One

Please join me as we discover or rediscover some tea time accessories that often go unnoticed. While the teapots and teacups garner all the attention, other items deserve praise as well. They embellish our tablescapes and provide for a well rounded tea service.

Tea Caddies or Tea Bag Holders
This small accessory is a must if you are serving bagged tea. It provides a place to rest a steeped tea bag without a mess. A guest may also place a spoon on it as well.
Here are a few of my gifted bone china holders.

Porcelain one from a 2016 Teacup Exchange

Plastic ones which are ideal for a casual outdoor tea

A very special royal one! My Anglophile friend gifted me this one after attending the wedding as a spectator.

I prefer drinking loose tea, but I do have a variety of teabags on hand. I notice my new-to-tea friends prefer choosing a certain tea in bag form than a given tea from a teapot.

Thank you for visiting and come by again soon as I will continue to feature more tea time accessories.


An Early Shelley Beauty

Hello Tea Friends,
This summer I was blessed to travel to London. Our schedule was tight and there wasn't that much time for antique shopping. I've always wanted to go to the booths and stores on Portobello Road. 

It just seems like a dream place for antique and tea cup collectors. I could spend literally hours sifting through all of the tea cups in search of a Shelley (my favorite).

(Internet stock image) Such fun exploring!
My close friend arrived in London a week after we left. She is a complete Anglophile and visits London quite frequently. I've taught her a bit about afternoon tea and my favorite potteries. For the last couple of years she has searched for a Shelley among the tables of teacups to no avail. Finally this past June she found the most exquisite pre-Shelley teacup and saucer in pristine condition and gifted it to me for my birthday.

Foley   Antique Cup Shape or early Queen Anne
Some History The original "Shelley" potteries were built by Henry Wileman in 18…