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, August 14, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Blue Willow History and Earl Grey Cookies For Tea

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! This is a compilation post of odds and ends from a week of visits and things surrounding my birthday...all fun, but a bit of a whirlwind, with another full week coming up...last ditch of summer for a lot of folks, and for us a break finally from smoke as we have finally had a bit of rain clearing the air a bit...WooHoo!  So we have come out of hibernating with a vengeance! Lol!

I found this tea themed poem from the writer T S Eliot recently as I was browsing Sandy Clough's book The Art Of Tea And Friendship while having a scone and afternoon tea in our sunroom with my Honey:

The naming of teas is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your everyday games--
Some might think you are mad as a hatter
Should you tell them each goes by several names.
For starters each tea in this world must belong
To the families of Black or Green or Oolong;
Then look more closely at these family trees--
Some include Indians along with Chinese.
T S Eliot
from The Art Of Tea And Friendship by Sandy Clough, pg 27

Very fun!

For my teacup (s) this week, I am sharing a perennial favorite today...various versions of the Willow pattern. Willow has always been popular and therefore was frequently made by various potters. Because of it's long life as a pattern and relative abundance of pieces, it is often overlooked as an important part of pottery design.  

It is fun to compare the elements of the design. Some of these teacups are from the archives at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos.

This Willow teacup is by Woods and Sons, England in the line called Woods Ware in ironstone. The Woods are part of a famous potting family from Staffordshire, England with a long history back to 1865.
It is in the most popular colorway, blue, and many names of the variations call this version Blue Willow.

The history of the pattern, Willow and all of  it's many variations goes much farther back...actually the 1770s.  
Blue Willow comes from a Chinese legend of 2 lovers, forbidden to marry who elope and are chased by the emperor. At the end, the boy is killed defending his fiance and the girl commits suicide. Sigh...not too cheerful.  
The elements that usually turn up are: of course, the Willow tree, the bridge the lovers crossed to elude pursuers...often with the lovers or with 3 people being variously the lovers and a helper or the lovers and the emperor...
a house they took refuge in and, of course,  always includes 2 birds, doves flying together representing the 2 lovers which has become a symbol of undying love.

This is a Royal Grafton, England version from the 1940s in bone china.

There are even versions in red, yellow and green, although the blue is the most popular....

This is a red, unmarked early 1920s version in red...

Wedgwood made this Yellow Willow pattern in the 1920s as well...

And Masons, England made this Green Willow version in the 1920-1930s...

And this, a very thin porcelain version from Occupied Japan which dates it from 1945-1954.

And lastly, a 1950s version by Royal Wessex, England in a more modern mid century ironstone version...

So...long live Willow, and may there be many more versions to come to extend a wonderful history!

Our PBS station, KCTS9 in Seattle is hosted some of the cast of Downton Abbey in August 2011, to drum up interest for series 2. The actors attending were those that played Lady Mary, Cora, Countess Grantham and Matthew. As part of the promotion, they cooked up an Earl Greay Tea Cookie that was posted in our program guide.
I have made them several times, and posted them once before in 2011....

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Program: KCTS 9 Cooks
Presented by: Paula Nemzek, KCTS 9 Cooks
Cook's Note: Try these delectable slice-and-bake cookies with your own favorite blend of tea. Delicious! We created these sophisticated cookies in honor of our August 2 event with Downton Abbey Cast members. We think Cora, Countess of Grantham, would approve!
makes 18 to 24 cookies
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves, crushed, or 1 1/2 tablespoons from tea bags (about 5 bags)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, tea and salt. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and stir together. Add remaining flour mixture and mix together until just combined.
Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a firm log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Seal with plastic, twisting both ends tightly, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
Slice the cookies into 1/3-inch thick rounds and place on the parchment at least 2 inches apart. Bake about 14 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. These are best served freshly baked.
The comments by the chef also said that they pack a buzz so use decaf if that would be a problem. Several of my friends have made them experimenting with other blends of tea including matcha or licorice spice and basically say any tea is great.

Thanks so much for joining me for tea today!
I am HOPING to join these blog memes this week, but....

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Items added this Week at Antiques And Teacups

It's hot an smokey from Canadian wild fires around here...
not good for breathing...but I am certainly getting some items added to Antiques And Teacups, and here are a few of them...
For more info on any of them, click on the photos...

One of my favorite hand colored on transfer 1930s teacups by Salisbury, England

A Shelley, England Celendine teacup in the Lincoln shape...
love the sweet flowers...

Another sunny yellow for summer teacup...corset shaped Royal Grafton

Sweet little 1940s Royal Crown Bohemia, Czechoslovakia demiteasse cup and saucer

A wonderful Victorian era large photo album with celluloid and velvet cover and some photos

A wonderful Roy Kirkham large English bone china teapot in the pretty Alpine Strawberry design

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tuesday Cup Of Tea Hibernating

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...from a very smokey Pacific Northwest....

This is a map of the current smoke conditions from Canadian wildfires...and we are up there at the top of  Washingtom state in a red dot zone...designating very unhealthy air. So headaches and breathing problems, and told to stay indoors by our doctor...so a bit of an abbreviated tea time....

So tea was a small affair in the sunroom....

I used one of my English hand embroidered tablecloths...one I love, with a beautifully done wreath of flowers on linen from the 1930-1940s...

We have been unable to do a lot of things we would usually be doing due to the record heat coupled with the smoke, so I have been catching up on some reading. This is a fairly recent find at our monthly library sale... Better Homes And Gardens Cottage Style from 1998....

This is probably my favorite place so far...A Full Plate...decorating with plates...

My teacup...is a mug! A Dunoon, England mug in a pattern called Cottage Life designed by artist Richard Partis...

It has several vignettes of cottage life during the Victorian or Edwardian eras and is so sweet! The row of stone cottages on the front looks like several Cotswold villages we have stayed in as well!

And to drink...not hot tea today, but a favorite cold Vanilla Chai Green Tea drink from Bolthouse Farms.  It is made with soy milk, and Chai spices with green tea and is so addictive! It is difficult to find around here, and I was so happy to find it in a large 1 1/2 litre bottle at our Grocery Food Outlet. I came home with the only 2 they had...rats! Hope they have some this week...we will be making a secial trip to see...hoping...

And for a teatime treat...a flop!!! I got a recipe for a variation of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which we love, but with a middle layer of crushed pineapple. 
I am not posting the recipe, because we didn't like it. It made the texture sort of mushy, was bland, and we didn't even finish it...
oh well, into every kitchen, a few flops arrive....

It's my 70th birthday this week..I know, OLD!! Lol!
But don't know what we will be doing if anything with the heat and smoke...we are playing it by ear.

I do have one present coming...I love Dale Chihuly, the glass artist, and my daughter messaged me on Facebook that she is sending me this...isn't that sweet? A tote bag of the famous Persian glass ceiling...

This is a photo I took of the glass ceiling on a visit a year ago to the Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass, and I often post his work on my Facebook page.

So thanks for joining me for tea! I am joining...

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Antiques And Teacups New Items This Week

Hi there...another busy summer week, and I hope you are enjoying yours! Here are some of the new items for your tea tablesor tea parties I have found and added to Antiques And Teacups this week....
For more info on any of them, click on the pictures and you will be taken to the item on the website!
I love finding treasures to make your tea times special!

Vase Green Glass Green And Clear Cased Czechoslovakia 1980s Large Swirl Pattern

Edwardian Sterling Silver Sugar Sifting Spoon Fancy Paisley Holes Sugar Fan Shaped USA

Wedgwood Jasperware Cup and Saucer Cherubs Sacrifice Figures 1967

The Edwardian Tuscan blue transferware teacup I shared on my blog last week...but I acquired several and still have a couple of them left...

I am sure you know how I love Shelley...added another shape of the Shelley Woodland pattern...this is in the New Cambridge shape!

Fabulous English mid Victorian era hand made lace making bobbin with antique glass "spangles"

Luxe Shelley China, England 1910-1916 blue Swallow teacup in the deluxe burnished gold pattern

Mid Victorian era Dudson Muses blue jasperware dip biscuit jar with engraved hinged lid

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Blueberry Crumb Bars, Blue And White Teacups and Roses

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I am so enjoying summer! Fruit is everywhere, and is present always at 2 of 3 meals these days...if not 3! Peaches, Cherries, Apricots, Blueberries, Strawberries...oh my! It's wonderful! I LOVE summer!

We are heading into a heat wave...it's supposed to break records and hit 100 in Seattle this week...amazing! 
So an afternoon tea in the sun room on a morning when the marine layer was in to start the day was perfect, because it is hot in there in the afternoon!

I have a butler's tray I set up by my grandmother's Victorian rocker at times for tea, and I decided to use that today with one of my Edwardian English hand made tray cloths I have from her as well.

I am using some pretty blue tansferware teacups by Tuscan China, England that date from 1907-1929...

I love the pretty pattern with the roses and swags...

Tuscan descended from a pottery family of Plants, who entered the trade in the 1782 in various areas around Stoke-on-Trent.  The name added a Royal in fron to f Tuscan in the late 1960s, but by 1970 had ceased to operate, over by the Wedgwood Group and operated under Royal Tuscan for a few years in the early 1970s, then ceased again. 
If you have followed this blog long, you know that Wedgwood subsequently was acquired/became WWRD  or Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton in the great pottery slice and dice as I call it.
Next...in 2015 Fiskars acquired them, and is currently reinventing Wedgwood at least...Tuscan doesn't seem to be in their plans at this point.

I have my white teapot under the padded hand made tea cozy, I liked the color it added on the gloomy grey morning...it has a matching trivet or mug mat...

The tea cozy made me think of this sugar and creamer, so I added it to my tea tray...

The bone china set was made in the 1950s by Royal Standard, England and the pattern is Englisg Rose. Love the lush red rose!
Royal Standard was a trade name of  Chapmans Pottery of Longton, a district of  Stoke who operated from 1916 until it was absorbed by Royal Doulton in 1969...then it ceased operations, just before the great Slice & Dice happened, so it technically could be revived by Fiskars, but I doubt it.

I added a favorite English sterling silver pair of sugar tongs so you can drop a cube of Demarara sugar ito your cup...

The sugar tongs are hallmarked for Sheffield, England in 1915 and were made by Henry Atkins, The Atkin Brothers. So cute!

And some spoons to stir your tea...European Alpaka or German silver spoons with a cut out rose pattern handle and gold washed bowl...so pretty! Goes 
with the cozy and sugar and creamer!

And of course, our treat for this teatime...Blueberry Crumb Bars....

The Blueberry Crumb Bars recipe is from  Angela McRae ...her blog is Tea With Friends
The recipe was in the weekly column she writes in the Coweta Shopper...and it is delicious!!!

Blueberry Crumb Bars
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided use
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In large bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and egg. Make sure dough has pea-sized crumbs because you don’t want it to be too smooth. Pour half of dough into pan and pat down.
In another large bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, water and cornstarch. Add blueberries and stir just until the sugar mixture has covered the berries. Spread blueberry mixture over crust, then top with remaining dough and smooth. Bake 45 minutes or until top begins to brown. Cool on wire rack and then cut into squares. Drooling is completely optional

So thanks for joining me for tea! I hope it won't be record breaking heat where you are...we will be hibernating a bit during the heat...it doesn't agree with my husband's Parkinson's Disease! 
I will be joining:

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!


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