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!

Monday, January 13, 2020

January Things, Country Diary, Open Salts

Well, nearly the last of the Christmas goodies...

My Emma Bridgewater Robin in a Snow Storm mug will be around for a few more months before hiding in the closet for a few months.
It was a gift a few years ago, and we LOVE English Robins!

This is an annual holiday addition to the house... Walker's Ginger Royals Shortbread.We love shortbread, dark chocolate and ginger, so... a winner!

They are a bit rich, so good thing we usually only get them this time of year!

And I haven't shared from Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady yet this month...

I love the January page with the Blue Tits... another favorite English bird...

Lately I have been getting to, listing and selling quite a few open salts, salt cellars or salt dishes lately on Antiques And Teacups

So...where do you park you chewing gum at night?????
Your rings bedside?
Your teabag in the kitchen???

If you are looking for a stylish receptacle, try an antique open salt, salt dip or salt cellar. This little cutie above is from Canada, or so the authors of the great open salt reference book 5,000 Open Salts: A Collector's Guide by Wm Heacock and Patricia Johnson inform us. This little salt was made around 1900. Cute for being so old...and in great shape, too!!! I should be in such shape at over 100 years old!!!

This is a great reference book, and it is almost impossible to find such comprehensive information online, so good, old style guides are a must really!

I've been talking and answering questions about affordable collectibles lately, and open salts definitely fit that category. They are small, still practical and useable and pretty affordable as collections go. The above pair of luster oval open salts is from Noritake, Japan from the 1930s...

Open salts really came into their own during the Victorian era, when gadgets and accessories were all the rage. This set of cut glass salts dates to 1920s, and are considered art deco...

This set above is an English Victorian era cut crystal set we recently sold...

This blue and white Blue Onion porcelain double salt is from the 1940s and comes from Czechoslovakia...
And that is part of the fun of open salts, because they have been made in almost every material imagineable... from rock crystal, cut glass and moded or pressed glass to wood, hotn, all metals, pottery, and basically, you name a material, there was an open salt made!

And lots of fun figural salts... like this Bird And Berry which was made by McKee Glass in the 1890s, and then reproduced in the 1960s from the same molds. The only way you can tell, is by the colors basically.

Lots of various transferware patterns as well. Almost all complete dinner sets from the late Victorian era until the 1940s included open salts.

Open salts were also popular in combinations of materials... like this 1930s Arr Deco set with cobalt glass liners and silver plated holders I recently sold.

Anyway, open salts can be used as a place to park your gum, a place for your rings or for a bit of sauce at the dinner table. They also make great teabag holders. As I'm a fan of tea, that's a definite plus!

Hope you are enjoying Hot Tea Month! I am, but that's nothing new!
Raising a cuppa!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Ecclefechan Tarts Epiphany Twelfth Night And Other Things

Oh goodness, but it is January...
 and that means...
Official Hot Tea Month!

But then, it always is around here!

And are you still finishing up Christmas goodies? Because we are!

Afternoon tea today, on Sunday Twelfth Night, is just such a tea!

The Twelve Days of Christmas starts with the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day and ends on the twelfth day after, representing how long it took for the wisemen to reach the stable...
above is a stained hlass window by Burne-Jones titled Twelfth Night at Winchester Cathedral...

Well, I am sure you know it well, have heard it often and sung it a few times in the last few weeks!

My tea started with a gift book, The Twelve Teas Of Christmas by Emilie Barnes with illustrations by Sandi Lynham Clough...
a wonderful book with how to prepare for the teas, history around the teas and lots of wonderful recipes, all augmented by the wonderful tea themes illustrations.
A feat in all senses!

Add to that an Emma Bridgewater mug of a pair, a gift last year, illustrating the carol We Three Kings...

Even the box is cute!

Perfect for Epiphany on January 6th...

And our goodies are Ecclefechan Tarts aka Ecclefechan Butter Tarts or Border tarts... which hail from the Borders... between Scotland and England.
They are sort of like a mince pie, but I have always liked them better.
As with everyhting, I used to make them, but know prefer to buy a pack of Walker's with their shortbread crust...

They are often connected to the Scottish tradition of the New Year 3 day Hogmanay... some say because they go so well with a dram of whiskey!

Ecclefechan is in Scotland, actually not far from that famous placed, beloved of all historical romances... Gretna Green... where you used to be able to be wed by a blacksmith, across the anvil as soon as you arrived, as long as both parties said they were agreeable. Often provided was a bedroom next door....
No banns, so questions asked!

I couldn't find a good small tart recipe for the US, but did find this recipe for an entire tart on Epicurious... link below the photo...

Recipe link on Epicurious: 

Wishing you a wonderful week... with more goodies to be finished this week! What a shame!!!   :)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year 2020!

Just to wish you the very happiest, healthiest and most joyous New Year!

From an antique Victorian era postcard to a graphic I found on Pinterest,
2020 marks, besides the beginning of a new decade, the centennial of the Roaring 20s!

What a great year for wonderful vintage teas and art deco accoutrements!
The painting above is titled Tea With Friends and was painted by Haddon Sunblom in 1923. 

So pull out the Art Deco... like this Shelley, England very deco Queen Anne shaped teacup trio in the Red Daisy pattern, and enjoy a wonderful cup of tea!

So... wishing you again...

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas to you all!

May it be the merriest of Christmases!

Wishing you joy, peace, love and happiness.
A cross stitch I did several years ago...

Wishing you lots of lovely teatimes with friends and family...

And Murchie's Christmas Tea was again my favorite seasonal tea. Hope they never stop making it!
Definitely a tradition here!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Tea At George Washington Inn

Welcome indeed! 
The welcome board I painted in the 1980s is on the wall and Christmas comes apace.

My dear husband was feeling well enough to attend a Christmas tea with me on Saturday..
the venue was the George Washington Inn B and B and Lavender farm here in Sequim of a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca...

The inn is an exact replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon home... and was built from original plans. The photo above is from www.mountvernon.org
The only difference, is that this one was built with a port cochere...
which is a good idea as we are in Washington, a wettish state...

The inn has an occasional tea which we enjoy going to. Unfortunately there are few options for teas close in the narrower distance my husband can attempt, so we are grateful!
And the day was a lovely cool day with mostly sunny skies, and beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park with fresh snow...

With the addition of en suite bathrooms to bring the design up to modern standards, the house is the same as the original. The curving stairway to the guests level is lovely.
The lady in the photo is an historical enactor for Martha Washington who is always at functions here. She makes her own clothes from period patterns and as a retired history teacher has a wealth of information about the period.

A lovely Christmas tree in the foyer where we waited for the tea room to be opened behind. The tea is in a sunroom which they call the piazza overlooking the Strait. The foyer also included several vendors of handmade gifts for shopping as we waited.

The tree was filled with thematic ornaments depicting Mount Vernon in some form or other... many by special cooperation from the original Mount Vernon.

We were seated at tables for 4.. the piazza holds 32 for tea, and this tea had originally 2 seatings of 1:30 and 4:00, but they sold out and they added a third seating at 10:00 am. We had gotten tickets for the 1:30 seating.
The tab;es were not especially Christmassy, other than red plain tablescloths. The china was lavender flowers of one kind or another. But, not a problem as far as we were concerned.
On the plate was a square of caramel cranberry and chocolate fudge to welcome us.

The tea was a holiday black with orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla and quite nice and sweet enough, and filled frequently.

The tea service itself was 3 tiered servers. We were seated with 2 sisters from Port Townsend and Tacoma, WA. The later was celebrating her birthday. She is peeking around the server. After we photographed the menu, we removed it... more fun than peeking during conversation!

The menu was:

Vanilla Glazed Gingerbread Scone
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

Egg Salad Crostini
Carrot Craisin Canape
Smoked Salmon Tartlet (on bottom layer)
Bacon Fontina Crostini

Iced Sugar Cookie
Pecan Pie Bar
Neopolitan Holiday Cookie
Chocolate Macaroon

We certainly enjoyed and din't leave anything between us all!

As we left, I took this down the side of the building out to the Strait. You can just see Vancouver Island in the distance under the clouds.

Wishing you a wonderful week of preparation for Christmas.
And for my Jewish friends and family...
Happy Hanukkah at the end of the week!


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