A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Pottery Paint Salesman Samples

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! It has been lovely summer weather here with a touch of fall from time to time, which has triggered some allergy problems for me. But I do love walking with my honey, so sometimes ya gotta just do it!  

This week my teacup is a designed around a teacup by famed designer Susie Cooper, who was in the forefront of  modern English design.

 The pattern is called Endon, and is an example of her pioneering English mid century modern design with the stylized Tulips or maybe Crocuses. We take 
the designs for granted now, but then she was a style setter.

The marks used on her items from this period, 1932-1964, were pretty mix and match...she apparently used them at the Crown Works in Burslem, an area of Stoke-on-Trent. I like the one with the deer best! For more info, click on the photos.

I paired this pretty teacup for tea in the sunroom today with some "clean" eating Paleo cookies we found....they are pretty good actually. We read some articles suggesting changing diets to improve the health of Parkinson's disease patients, and basically changing to not processed and refined foods as much as possible, so we are doing that.  The cookies say Bet You Can't Eat Just One...which I am sure you recognize as an old advertising slogan...and they are wrong on these because they are so nutrition dense you really only need one, small though they are!

The tablecloth is another family piece from the 1930-1940s from my dear aunt.

My tea is by Tazo, Berryblossom White and it is lovely! White tea is barely oxidized while black tea is fully oxidized. This has a pale straw color, a bit of astringency...not bitter...and a gorgeous blueberry smell and flavor. Lovely!

Recently, on a private Facebook group I belong to, I  met a woman who still works at the potteries, at Wedgwood, in the very small design and decoration studio in Barlaston...which has replaced the huge workshops that there before all the pottery shakeups, consolidations and closures as production was moved out of the UK. 

She is a decorator, and as an industry worker, has begun collecting the salesman or pottery paint sample plates used for the colors sold to the potteries for their china.

C J Baines in Fenton...another district of Stoke, made this in 1959...it is fascinating to see the colours and think that's how designs were planned.

Wengers, Ltd. was another painter manufacturer. These examples are from the Gladstone Pottery Museum, and shows the various hues that were used on transferware and other designs...there were certainly different versions of blue transferware!

This a BBC archives photo of china painters at work at the Meakin pottery, which closed in the early 1970s.

This is a Spode sample plate...no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, it shows the difference a certain glaze made on the color of the transfer of theis Italian Scenes plate before and after the final firing in the kiln. The right side is definitely more vivid in color. Photos of the sample plates by permission Rosie Cooke and Phil Rowley.  They have also a few marked ones from Mintons, Dudson, Spode, Royal Doulton etc. which were, I think to show as samples or to try/test various colours and prints. Now that's an interesting collection!

Sometime I'll share more about our visits to the Gladstone Pottery Museum...a great place to visit if you love china!

Tea...by James Tissot

Thanks for joining me today for Tuesday Cuppa Tea, and I hope you have some last-of-summer opportunities for a relaxing cup of tea with a friend!

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Shelley Heather, Happy 70th Anniversary Constant Comment Tea

Hi there and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea. This is a short and choppy post...at least I hope it gets posted...because our internet provider is having problems and they have been working on it all week. They were out again yesterday, and are due today as well to replace wiring and my modem for the new wiring, and I have had molasses slow and unreliable internet all week...hopefully when this posts it'll be fixed! It certainly reminds me how tenuous our connections in the ether really are!!!

Because it's summer, although we have had a bit of rain the last few days, which we really need, it made me think of this Shelley China, England Heather teacup, so I decided to share that today. I have shared it before, but it's a favorite!

Landscape patterns are a favorite...it's fun to sit in the sunroom with a cup of tea in the afternoon and look at the scene and daydream of being there, and bring up memories of walking in similar scenes....

As you know I am sure, I LOVE Shelley China and have been collecting and selling them for 30 years now. I just love their quality! This is pattern number 13419, and the teacup is in the New Cambridge shape. The teacup was made between 1940 and the late 1950s when they went to a mark with a picture of heather and the name. The pottery closed in 1966, and the pattern Heather was being made until that time, and on several different shapes. It's always fun to see the different versions. Anyway, I love the pattern.  For more info at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

The year 2015 is the 70 th anniversary of  Bigelow Tea's Constant Comment tea...created by Ruth Bigelow in her kitchen. Ruth Bigelow and the family could only afford a single-color label for her first tea. To help spruce up the package, her son David Jr. and her husband David Sr. would sit together each night, hand-painting the two ladies on the original label, which I have been unable to find a photo of. This is from the Bigelow archives, and bears the report that one night, David Sr. turned to David Jr. and said “Son, don't tell your mother, but I don't think this company is ever going anywhere.”  The tin photo above is their special anniversary tin.

bigelow tea 70th anniversay

Today, not only is family-owned Bigelow Tea is the #1 U.S. Leader in specialty tea, but that first tea—“Constant Comment”®—is its flagship brand and has always been a favorite of mine, after discovering it as a teenager...and that's decades ago!

Happy anniversary to a favorite tea...and one that comes in a green tea variety too!  We are drinking green tea every day, so this is always on hand for me. Have you tried it? It's very much like the black tea version.

Changing gears, I just got new cushions for the sunroom wicker chairs...w have had these for 15 years...they started out originally in Ashland, Oregon on a covered patio/porch are...from Pier One...we have 2. The cushions were down filled...best we could get at that time, but I'm allergic to down, and they were getting shabby...not in a good way...and faded.

When we moved here to Sequim, the 2 chairs moved with us because they were perfect for the sunroom. Pier One was having a sale a week or so ago, so I bought some non allergenic cushions that are made from Sunbrella material which will stand the sun better. I am not sure of the color, but it was the best I could find with a quantity of 4 at the clearance price of $14.99...which was much better than the original $50 each. So...what do you think? Not perfect, but...

So that's it for today...hope that the internet is fixed enough to allow this to upload and post.

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

We Have A Winner!!!!

Congratulations to Mary of Mom Wald's who was drawn by Random.org as the winner of my birthday month Far North Giveaway...I have sent you a convo Mary...send me your snail mail address and it will be on it's way to you!

Thanks so much for all who entered....there will be a next time....

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Retro Tea, Giveaway, Fruit And Nut Scones

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! First of all, thank you all for the good wishes received for my birthday. It was a lovely day with dinner at our favorite restaurant in town Alder Wood Bistro. And I forgot to take any photos. Ah well...you can tell I am of an older generation...I just don't remember to photograph every moment of my life...and can't really believe anyone would be interested!  But...on to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

I am having a retro tea today, in a break in the clouds in the sunroom today, with a few mid century pieces I acquired recently that seemed to go together.

And if you know me, it'll be no surprise it's mostly blue and white...although in a few different shades. I used my sunroom tea table as usual, and set it with the new embroidered tea time table cloth I found, with a teapot on one corner and cream and sugar in the other, in mostly blue. I added a blue crocheted doily my sister made me.

The teacups are from 2 different countries, but both are so different and so elegant. The teapot is a Hall USA Philadelphia shape teapot in the Gold Standard band pattern. I baked some fruit and nut scones...the recipe is at the bottom of this post...they are a family favorite from my English Nana and are called Rock scones, because you don't roll them flat and cut them, but mound them and let them go.

The first teacup is in the Empire patter, made by Castleton, USA between 1950-1967.  Castleton has been operating in New Castle, PA since the 1940s, and acquired by Anchor Hocking a few years ago. During the period this neoclassical teacup was made, they were heavily influenced by designers they had lured away from Rosenthal China, so the quality is very fine. I love their items! And doesn't this make you think of Napoleon? It does me!

This Royal Grafton, England tea cup is about the same age, but a different style...more the traditional mid century English teatime teacups. The robins egg blue color is so dainty with the golf overlay borders and snowflake or sunburst. One lump or two???

Royal Grafton was a trade name of A. B. Jones named for the Grafton Works in Stoke-on-Trent where they operated from 1900. The pottery and trademarks were acquired in 1972 by John Tams. They are still in operation, although in a smaller scale.

This is the Hall Phildelphia Gold Standard teapot...lovely clean, elegant lines. 

Hall China came out of the Liverpool Potteries, USA in 1903 and is most well known for it's Jewel Tea in the 1920s. The teapots were in production through the late 1960s and the company continues to manufacture restaurant wares.  For more info on any of the china items at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

Here is my darling teapot table cloth. I love it!

Are you ready for a scone??? Here are my Rock Scones...on an orphan Shelley Warwicks Savage Tulip And Rose pattern saucer....here is the recipe:

Rock Scones

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour...but I use either unbleached or organic winter white       wheat

1/4 cup sugar...I use organic unbleached, but you can use white or brown

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 stick of butter cut into bits...use vegan margarine

1/3 cup sour cream...I use lowfat yogurt...have used soy as well

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup dried fruit...any combo you have on hand...I used raisins and cranberries

3/4 cup toasted and chopped nuts...I used a combo of almonds, pecans and walnuts

1 egg with a little water beaten for glaze

raw or Demarara to sprinkle on glaze

Pre heat oven to 325...or 300 in convection oven.

In bowl, mix together with a fork or pastry blender dry ingredients and the butter until they resemble coarse crumbs...here you can also use a food processor, but I don't have one and my Nan's recipe of course had never thought of one!

Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients...mix lighlty with your fingers if needed to incorporate.

Using your hands, a large table spoon...or an ice cream scoop...my sister's idea...form into dome shapes on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bruch the tops with the egg wash glaze and sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 15-18 minutes.

This recipe makes 8 Rock Scones, but double well.

Want to remind you if you haven't entered my Far North birthday giveaway, there is still time...the drawing will be late Wednesday night, Aug. 12th. If you haven't entered, click on the photo and leave a comment saying Enter Me on my Far North Tea blog or click on this link:

Thanks for joining me today! Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Far North Tea, Birthday Giveaway

Hello and thanks, my friends,  for visiting for Tuesday Cuppa Tea! It's been hot again, so today I am having a Far North Tea...and associated giveaway, because August is my birthday month!

A couple of months ago, we went on an Alaska cruise...I know some of you saying "Again??"...But, as you folks who live in or near Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston, Los Angeles or any other cruise port, sometimes there are incredible deals out there. And we have been doing it long enough, and know enough local travel agents, that we get last minute deals cheaper than staying home!!!!

This, or rather these, are some of my tea cups for this week... that I DIDN'T buy while in Sitka, Alaska...they are by the Lomonosov, Russia company that are more famous for their blue and white, and I had planned to buy one, as I bought my last Lomonosov here in Sitka about 6 years ago and had several that I'd given away or sold at Antiques And Teacups over the years and thought I'd buy one this time and keep it....until I asked the price. The shop owner wouldn't even take them out of the case for me. The covered one was $450.00 and the other was $395.00. She was Russian, and had been selling them for years until about 5 years ago when the price shot through the roof, so these were the last and she would not be restocking. Wonder why! Whoa! So if you have one, treasure it! 

And this is the one I DID buy at the same Russian American store in Sitka...it in a Russian folk art style called Khokhloma...I could put it in Russian if I had a Cyrillic keyboard, but I don't...and is hand painted on black lacquer and a very popular Russian folk art. It goes with my other Russian things...in 1967 I spent 6 weeks in the USSR and associated communist countries. I had Russian all through high school & university, and I came home with lots of little things...many which have come back to me as I have lost the family members I brought them back for.  As you can see when you look at the wooden nesting dolls called Matriyoshka or Little Mother, the tallest and 2 similar are the oldest from 1967...much simpler decoration, and the others are ones I have gotten as gifts or picked up in Alaska from folk artists since than and they have  a different look.

These others are from 1967. The Khokhloma box was brought home for my mother, and returned to me; the little Baltic Amber bird was a Communist Revolution anniversary token gift from our Russian guide...or watchdog, really...whom I formed a friendship with as I spoke Russian; and the egg is a hand made Ukrainian Pysanky egg on it's little separate pedestal I bought from a wood carver in Kiev at a street market.  I keep meaning to get out the slides of that trip and do some digitals from them, but...hasn't happened. 

But...from this Alaska trip, some things I thought you might like to see...a new Keep Calm design in all the shops...it IS bear county!

Seen at a store in Juneau...a set of nail varnishes titled High Tea...with teacups on the box...

A wonderful potters in Homer, Alaska with a tea themed decor...but too dark inside...the photos didn't turn out...

This great shot of nesting Kittiwakes on the I beam of the pier we walked across from the ship... I enlarged it here so hopefully you can see the beak-to-tail birds on their nests all along the beam....

A shot of Portage Glacier by Anchorage....the blue means it's older, compressed ice that has recently be revealed after a recent calving event. I don't want to bore you with a lot of trip photos...I have loads, especially the other glaciers, but...I figure that's enough!

And now...Happy Birthday to me! My birthday is this month, so while I was in Alaska I thought about the blog giveaway I wanted to do for my birthday, so...here it is...

I had fun finding the items in different ports...but they had to be lightweight....

A cookbook called Baked Alaska by Alaskan author Sarah Eppenbach. This came from a bookstore in Ketchican that specializes in local authors...includes tea treats like Taku Glacier Lodge Wild Cranberry And Orange Scones, tea breads, lots of stufff. I regret I didn't buy one for myself...but I'll be back up there soon...heh heh...

A large bear cookie cutter...'cuz they ARE big!

From Icy Strait Point, Blueberry Tea...

Some 3 dimensional Alaska stickers from a Anchorage business...but made in China! Rats!!!  And a great coaster with a wonderful tea quote:
Simply be
rather than do
for just a moment

So that's it for this week's Tuesday Cuppa Tea. To enter my birthday giveaway,  just leave a comment Enter Me and I will draw a name with Random.org on Thursday August 12th. 

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!


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