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 15, 2018

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, My Flock Of Birds Tea Especially English Robins...

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...
This week in January celebrating my love of birds...

And that was started this week by the January page featuring Blue Tits and Great Tits from Edith Holden's 
Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady...

And here is a National Trust photo of the cute little guy...

Now to my own flock of birds...

I was very excited to come across this Tea For One by Roy Kirkham in the Garden Birds pattern...it was love at first sight!

This is my Garden Birds Tea For One! Roy Kirkham, England developed in England in Stoke-on-Trent in the mid 1970s...filling a conspicuous void when the major pottery closures and combining...or gobbling up as some call it...occurred. They tried for a couple of years to make things out of the UK in the early 1990s, but that was not a success, so they are now manufacturing their bone china in England again...woohoo!

This Tea For One has a wonderful collection of garden birds, with a breakfast sized cup and saucer...which is nice, because the others I have had had not had a saucer as well.  Can you see the English Blue Tit and the Robin pictured on the teapot???

It has my favorite Blue Tit, Wren, Finch, Robin and others...so cute!

As usual, afternoon tea is on my table in the sunroom....and I have a few birdy friends as well to tea...

Besides my birdhouse, this is a Hummel figurine my parents brought back for me from Munich, Germany in the 1950s as a souvenir. They had gone for a conference. The little girls is singing a duet with a little bird...I was always a singer, and a professional for a time later in life...isn't she cute?

And then I have my birdy pair shelf sitters...an anniversary gift from my BFF for our anniversary 20 years ago....but treasured! The books are from my Aunt, whom I was named for, who loved birding...

I can see you are saying...I know what bird that is...a robin! Yes, but what country does he come from? This is an American robin, beloved visitor to our American gardens with his beady eyes, quick movements and commanding song. But his smaller English cousin, the English Robin, is linked with Christmas to the British people.

 The English robin is much smaller and more delicately made and is a favorite for decorating themes and stories, beginning with the legend associated with the cute little bird that linked it's red breast it to the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem. 

The legend says that the robin, among the worshipping angels in the stable were so concerned that the baby would be cold that they used their wings to fan the embers of a fire into a warming blaze, but singed their chests in the process. The little birds were rewarded for their selfless love and care for Jesus by being given their red breasts as an eternal symbol of the warmth of the fire they provided that night.

Some of my favorite mugs feature English Robins,  from English potters Emma Bridgewater and Dunoon.  The Christmas designs live in the back of my china closet until the first of November, then makes an appearance until January....it is just headed into the back of the closet today....while the others are out year round...

These are my favorite four...3 Emmas and one Dunoon....

This mug is from the Birds line, and one of my favorite. I have quite a few different ones...
And if you follow this blog, you know I "found" Emma Bridgewater in 1987 on a trip to family in the UK...astounded that the mug I found at a poottery in Stoke-on-Trent was by someone with the same name as my grandmother...Emma Bridgewater...amd was hooked!

This mug of the English Robin is one that is out all year and is called Robin In A Snowstorm. Not only does it have my favorite cheeky little English Robin, but it's blue!

This one comes out for Christmas and is called Christmas Robin...love the Happy Christmas inside the cup...

The design below was from the Season's Greetings series of 3 mugs by Dunoon from 2008 by the artist Richard Partis, and I just love it! You have probably seen it over the years in one or another of my posts at Christmas...
I think it is the cutest thing.

They just make you smile, don't they???

You can see why I love them so much! They are an endearing reminder of my childhood and Christmas memories!

So thanks for joining me for Tuesday Cuppa 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!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Twelfth Night Tuesday Cuppa Tea, National Shortbread Day, Make Dos

Hello and welcome to a Tuesday Cuppa Tea when a lot of the contry is in a deep freeze...and we have had our first days in the 40s in almost 3 months!

I have rather a different Tuesday Cuppa Tea offering today. This next teacup section as a repost of one of my most popular blog posts ever...from January, 2014.

At first look, this all hand painted cup and saucer is just a late Victorian drop dead gorgeous cabinet cup and saucer....

The design is all hand painted and features floral bouquets on pale blue panels alternating with panels of heavy gold arabesques with a fancy ring handle and further gold trim. Just Beautiful!

The cup and saucer made for Thomas Goode, Ltd. England in the Edwardian era, 1900-1918.  Thomas Goode of London is a premier upscale goods shop that was established in 1827 and still is in business. They are famous for designing and commissioning fabulous china, furniture and other items from the most famous manufactureres know. The items are often only marked, as this is, Reserved To Thomas Goode Company, Ltd in the United Kingdom. We don't know the maker, but whoever it is was top-of-the-line...reminds me of some of the Mintons or Crown Staffordshire designs, and is similar to a Coalport shape, but I am not sure....

But here is the intriguing part...the teacup was broken and repaired. It was a treasured piece, that the owner sent to a jewelers...an expensive project...

Can you see where the cracks were carefully riveted together with metal staples? In England in the Victorian era, this was called a "make-do" and was often roughly done by the equivalent of a blacksmith for utilitarian items. But for a repair on something of this quality, obviously cherished, it went to a jeweler. Only the most cherished items were repaired like this. It gives added character to the teacup. As you can see by the brown crack lines, the teacup continued to be used for tea, as those are tea stains.

Reminds me of the care Jesus takes mending our broken hearts and lives into something beyond the former value. We proudly carry the signs of the healing always, and continue to be useful to His glory.

There are people who collect this type of piece, knowing it was worth the high cost of repair because it was cherished and treasured.  Photos from my archives.

I hope you enjoyed the repeat...I was reminded of it a few weeks ago when someone in a Facebook group asked about Make Dos...

And January 6th is traditionally Twelfth Night...

And a reminder that this is Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. One term, Epiphany, refers to January 5th or 6th...depending on tradition or calendar...being the night the Wisemen or Magi reached the baby Jesus...

It is also the end of ....

Which we all know and love, and can probably sing until we forget something and fall into giggles...

And I found this great graphic by The Business Insider.com which compares the past and current market value of the gifts as of 2013...
wonder what it is this year...but they have instituted a pay-per-view only, so....

Quite a fun comparison....wonder why the swans have appreciated so much and the 8 maids-a-milking hardly at all...hmmmm...

But in Midieval England when William Shakespeare wrote a play by that name, Twelfth Night was the end of the reign of the Lord Of Misrule which was a period from just before Christmas for frivolity,  foolishness...the word "fool" is probably founded in the revelry here... and some mayhem. 

Historic Twelfth Night cake from English Heritage

The Twelfth Night cake is historically a rich fruitcake, iced or not, but containing a dried bean.
Whoever found the bean was crowned the Lord Of Misrule and was in charge for the night...and possible up to all kinds of bad behavior...

Wassailing was a favorite pass time. I found a great website that gives a lot of info about the famous "Lambs Wool" punch favored for wassailing with a recipe...click HERE from RecipeWise UK.

We take our outdoor Christmas lights down January 7th, as we do it after Twelfth Night. Then everything looks bare and dull, inside and out!

January 6th is, apparently, National Shortbread Day in the UK....so here is a recipe for 
Lemon Vanilla Shortbread from Tea Time magazine that I shared on my Facebook page...

Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread
Yield: 8 wedges

  1. ½ cup salted butter, softened
  2. ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  4. ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  5. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  7. ⅛ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Lightly spray an 8-inch shortbread pan* with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract, beating to blend. Add flour and salt, beating until incorporated.
  4. Firmly press dough into prepared pan. Prick dough with a fork.
  5. Bake until shortbread is light golden brown, approximately 35 minutes. Let shortbread cool in pan for 10 minutes, and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges to serve.
  1. *We used an 8-inch hexagonal Scottish thistle ceramic shortbread pan from Brown Bag Designs, available at Birmingham Bake & Cook Company (bakeandcookco.com, 205-980-3661). Shortbread can also be baked in an 8-inch round cake pan.
I am so glad you have joined me for Tuesday Cuppa Tea. And I hope you are staying warm...and what is better for a day inside in the winter than tea and shortbread!

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!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea for A New Year's Eve And First of 2018

Welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea for the New Year of 2018!
Hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukah, or any other winter holiday you hold dear!
Ours was quiet, snowy and cold!

A Happy New Year to you! We always take time on New Year's Eve to pray for God's blessing for the coming year and thank Him for His grace through the ending year. This has been a difficult year for many, and we are praying for His grace and mercy as we move into 2014. It just seems the fitting way for us to end one year and begin another...

New Year's Eve...the last one...in London, with the London Eye....

My Auld Lang Syne tea really developed out of the 1930s blue transferware large farmer's or uber-breakfast sized cup and saucer I found a few weeks ago...

The really large breakfast cup and saucer features an 18th century couple and has the famous lyrics to Robert Burn's poem/song

Take ye a cuppe o'kindnesse 
for auld lang syne

which is roughly take a cup of kindness
for old time's sake

The verse comes from a poem by Robert Burns who wrote it in 1788. It has become such a staple of New Year celebrations all over the English speaking world, and has been translated into thousands of languages.

A number of other potteries made versions of this over the years in one form or another. I have shared my Wedgwood version of it before....

This particular transferware design is actually being made, in a far rougher and heavier version, in China which you may see...blurry and rough...sometimes with misspellings...which is quite fun!

The set was made by British Anchor Pottery, Ltd. which existed from 1884 to 1970. From the 1940s theye were merged and manufacturing together with J. & G. Meakin. After World War II they resumed production, were then acquired by Gailey Group which also had Thomas Poole & Gladstone. But in 1970 they stopped British Anchor production.

This mark dates this cup and saucer to 1913 to 1940 when the war stopped production.

I also have out my family Royal Doulton Rosebud china from our holiday meals....Love it!

And...surprise! Surprise! Some antique and vintage New Year postcards and cards which I love too!
This one is by Gibons simply says New Year Greetings from 1922

This is wonderful art deco 1930s card that says

New Year Greetings
Happiness, health
and the best of cheer
To you and yours
in the coming year

I echo that for you!

This is from 1908 with a good luck horseshoe and A Happy New Year and penciled in To All. 

This one is from 1915 and says

A New Year Greeting
Not only for today
But for all the time may
Happiness attend

with hand written dedication and signature

Lastly, from 1916

Greetings and
Good wishes for
the New Year

Our tea today, is a gift from a friend for Christmas... a tin of Keep Calm and Carry On English breakfast tea...so sweet of her and I LOVE the tin!

And for a goodie with our tea...an English treat I haven't had for years sent by another friend...Tunnock's Dark Chocolate Tea Cakes...

The tea cakes are a shortbread type cookie base with marshmallow cream and a dark chocolate layer. Yum!

Besides New Year's Eve...it's also Hogmanay!

In England and other areas of the UK, especially in Scotland where Hogmanay is celebrated from Dec. 31st until Jan. 1st (known as Ne'erday) as the New Year's tradition, one of the old traditions is called First Footing. 

The First Footer refers to the first person who crosses the threshhold after midnight and "seals yer fate" for the coming year. The First Footer should be a tall, dark and handsome man with a "dainty foot" and come with certain things:

Until the First Footer came in the front door after midnight, no one should enter or leave. The First Footer would knock, be asked to enter and do so with gifts in his pockets which have regional variations. The usual in my family's tradition was bread or sometimes salt, coal, coins and matches. In Scotland the bread is shortbread and also included...what else? Whiskey! The First Footer then backs out of the door...so he won't take his good luck with him. Then the door (and the party) is free for all! 

The coal means your hearth won't grow cold, your bread is enough food, the coins insure prosperity and the matches, light.

First Footers who met the criteria, were in great demand and could make good money going from house to house by appointment. I don't know how many do so today, although a Scots neighbor said the gifts nowadays are more likely whiskey!

So who will be first through your door??? I know who will be first in our home, as He will never have left! A Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 be a year of health, prosperity, peace and happiness in our home and in yours!

So Happy New Year! And thanks for joining me for a cup of tea and achat with friends.
From me to you, as the postcard says below...

All New Year Joys Be Yours!

I am joining:
Share Your Cup

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!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...