Thursday, May 28, 2015

AFTERNOON TEA

People often say that tea tastes better when drunk from a proper teacup rather than a mug. Well that may or may not be true after all it is subjective. Maybe it is because a mug is usually made from earthenware which is a very different substance from bone china. Perhaps it is the ritual of placing the teacup on a saucer and hearing the little 'ting' as the two surfaces come together. Or could it be that the tea is more likely to be brewed in a teapot when using teacups, a time old tradition that still evokes an age of elegance. 
 
Tuscan China made by R.H.& S.L.Plant
 Whatever the reason we love the beautiful patterns and shapes of vintage china teacups. 

Duck Egg & Gold Teacup Trio
 Our Vintage china really is authentic and was made in the Staffordshire Potteries in years gone by. Until the mid 20th century there were hundreds of potteries in Staffordshire manufacturing  teaware for the home. Now there are only one or two left and these companies either produce high end - expensive products - such as Royal Crown Derby, which is not actually in Staffordshire, or have switched their china manufacture to Asia or now make earthenware products.

Aynsley April Rose
 How can you tell if a teacup is real bone china? Check the manufacturers stamp on the underside and it should say bone china or fine bone china. Most items also say England or Made in England if made after 1891. Hold the teacup in your open palm and flick it with a finger nail. You should hear it 'ring' as you would with a thin drinking glass. Fine bone china is almost transparent when held up against a light or candle.
 
Royal Standard Garden Terrace
 Looking after your precious vintage china: Bone china is also incredibly strong and when used at room temperature it can take boiling water without harm - but it is not advised to pour in boiling liquids if the china is icy cold as the shock could cause it to crack.  If knocked against a hard surface the rim can chip. The gold gilding on the rim, handle or foot of the cup is real gold mixed with a fixative which is fired in the kiln to keep it in place. With prolonged use some of the gilding may wear - this is quite normal and not harmful. Washing should be done by hand and definately not in a dish washer with detegents that are far too harsh. Cracked, crazed or chipped china should not be used for drinking from as bacteria can hide under the glaze.

Christian Dior Roses
 We select only the very best peices of china for our teacup trios, tea sets and cake stands and discard any that is not of a suitable quality.   
 
Royal Albert Gladiolus
Give someone the really special, lasting gift of a vintage china teacup trio in a ribbon bound keepsake gift box and they can enjoy drinking tea from a 'proper cup' and have the added delight of displaying it too.    

      

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