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, March 17, 2019

Irish Tea at Nourish Sequim

Yesterday, March 16th was  an Irish afternoon tea at our local organic locally sourced restaurant Nourish here in Sequim...

So happy my Honey is doing well enough with our new protein and meds schedule, and tea was exactly in the 1 hour window he can have protein at proper spacing from his medication!

This was taken last fall... with the snow just melted and spring arriving there was little in the garden this year so far...

The restaurant is a non pretentious almost industrial space... a lot different than a fancy tea room, but we are rural and this is an area mostly known for organic farms and lavender farms....

There was a choice of 2 tea menus... and we had the Dairy Free, which is always a good choice because of my allergies. Their teas are always gluten free as well.

We atarted with the tea menu... I always choose Darjeeling as it is my favorite tea. John branched out from his usual decaf black, and had a Lemon Ginger herbal. Both pots came with a tea strainer and a tea timer... mine for black tea...3 minutes; and John's for 7 minutes for the herbal.

The 3 tiered server arrived...

The savory course was Corned Beef on Caraway whole grain toast with pickled vegetable garnish...
which was very good...
and Smoked Salmon (locally caught and smoked) on crispy potate slices as this is the dairy free menu.
I don't like salmon particularly, but John said they were very good and he really like the potato base for a change from bread

The next level was Apple Tart with Raisin and Nut toppingand Chocolate Dipped Oat Flapjacks. In the US we call them oat bar cookies, but we were both raised with them as Flapjacks...

The Dairy-Free menu didn't have scones, it had the flapjacks instead...

And lastly, Chocolate Mousse. Quite good for dairy free.
We ate the sandwiches and the mousse but brought the tarts and flapjacks home and had them later.

Recently Chef Tanya and husband David, co-owners of Nourish and expat Brits were featured on a segment on Seattle King 5 TV...
and here is the link to our local paper

and a link to the program segment on King 5 which includes Tanya cooking with recipes.

Hope you have had a lovely St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy National Pi Day... or Pie???

Today, March 14th, 2019 is National Pi day... but also appropriated by the pun and culinary minded as Pie Day...

Accoding to Life's Little Mysteries, here are the mostpopular pies in the US....
notice basically all are sweet.
Now, here is a similar chart for the UK... and most are savory.
In the UK, Yanks are known for their sweet tooth...

And where did PI and subsequently Pie Day come from?
It is celebrated in countries that follow the month/day (m/dd) date format, because the digits in the date, March 14 or 3/14, are the first three digits of π (3.14), Pi Day was founded by Physicist Larry Shaw in 1988.

So... now you know...
and my pie for the day...
I just made a Chicken and Mushroom pie...

So what was in your pie plate today????

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Spring Forward, St. Patrick's Day, Irish Scones

Hello! Just want to remind my US followers, that tonight, March 9th into Sunday March 10th, we Spring Forward for Daylight Savings Time...

I must say, I wish they would leave it alone. It disrupts my husband's Parkinson's Disease medication schedule, and it takes a few days of feeling not so goo to catch up, and that's twice a year!
Washington State has a bill into the state senate to opt out, and I really hope it succeeds.

St. Patrick's Day is March 17th, and everyone feels Irish, don't they?
I recently acquired some Irish Belleek, so wanted to share them with you.

I have always loved Belleek, and vidited the pottery while in Ireland in the 1980s. Their oder pieces are so delicate and lovely!

And they have some lovely shamrock designs. This is called Shamrock or Harp... you can see the handle and lid finial is shaped like harps... isn't that lovely?

The teacup trios I got have a lovely basketweave with shamrocka, and I love the twig handles.

Until the mid 1980s, Belleek was easy to date, because the marks differ in what's included and color. This mark, for example, is the 3rd green mark which dates it to 1946-1955.
There was a period in the early 1980s, when they changed the material used to put the marks on and it didn't work with the glaze, and many items had their marks sidappear quite quickly. They fixed that, but you do sometimes find items you know are Belleek, but the marks are missing or wierd from that period.
Teacup trios available at Antiques And Teacups... just click the photos...

Here is an Irish treat for St. Patrick's Day...
from my little Irish cookbook...

This is A Little Irish Cookbook by John Murphy and here is the illustration by Karen Bailey of the Irish scones...

I made them, but made the in wedges which is our favorite...

Here is the simple recipe:

2 cups self raising flour
3 tbs butter
1/2 cup milk...I use almond milk
pink of salt and I added 2 tbs of dried currants

Sieve the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter quickly and lightly with the fingertips. Add the salt and then using a round bladed knife, mix in the milk a little at a time.  With floured hands knead lightly to a soft dough, adding a bit more milk if necessary. Roll out evenly to about 1 finger thick on a floured board. Cut out and cook on a greased cookie sheet close to the top of a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  They are best eaten for tea and do not store well.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Dating Royal Albert Old Country Roses

Recently I have been contacted by quite a few folks both my email and by messages on either my Facebook page or website about Royal Albert Old Country Roses china.

Now considered the most popular china pattern in the world, Old Country Roses came into being in 1962, designed by Harold Holdcroft, when the post World War II pottery industry was struggling to adapt and survive in the post war period.
By it's instant popularity, it provided a needed boost to Royal Albert, a pottery owned and operated by Thomas C. Wild and Sons, Ltd. who had operated since 1896.

The original backstamp was this one, and it was in use from 1962-1974

In 1964, Thomas Wild was taken over by Pearson and Son, Ltd, which then was merged into Lawley Group Ltd., formed into Allied English Potteries Ltd. but Royal Abert and Wild were allowed to continue using their own names.
In 1970 Allied English Potteries officially renamed Wi as Royal Albert Ltd., largely because of the popularity of Old Country Roses.

In 1972, Pearson acquired Royal Doulton but allowed Royal Albert to continue to be made in it's St. Mary's pottery in Longton near Stoke.
But a new mark came into being...

Note the curved text line with the date Old Country Roses was released... but that doesn't indicate when the piece was made.
This mark was used when all Old Country Roses was made in the UK.
This mark was used from 1974 until 1980.

The next mark, thought to have first been used from 1980 showing the design was under the old copyright... from 1980-1993.
Note the mark now says Made In England instead of just England.
In 1993, Royal Doulton was separated again from the Pearson group and re-registered the copyright to Old Country Roses, so the C became an R for Registered. The C and R can be in any order on the bottom curved mark, wither front or back of the last line of text.

In 1998, St. Mary's pottery was closed and production was moved to Indonesia, Taiwan or china where it remains today.

Although the bottom line still says the date 1962 when Old Country Roses began, this mark means it was made after 2002, because 1998-2002 had some transitional pieces. All had ceased by 2002.
Note the mark has dropped any mention of England.

And why does it matter anyway?
I got my first Old Country Roses teacup in England in 1967, and still have it. 
I have been selling it since the mid 1980s, and the first I knew the production had been moved, is when I saw a teacup at a shop that didn't look right. 
It was heavier, the hand applied brushed gold was missing and the patterns were not well applied...I turned it over and checked the ox...Indonesia. Yes, it was cheaper, but, oh my, the quality was not the same at all!
Under the subsequent controllers of the Royal albert brand... WWRD or Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton and the from 2015 Fiskars, the pattern has continued to be made out of the UK.

Speaking of quality, I also want to point out what to look for to identify second quality. At the potteries, the items were always quality checked, and if there was a flaw, but one that did not make the item totally unuseable, the mark is scratched though as shown in the example above. I don't know if it is still being done this way in Indonesia or China, but it was always done this way in the UK.

I hope this helps a little... some folks don't care, but some folks care... a LOT!

There are rumors in the UK pottery industry that Faskars is thinking of moving some production back to the UK because of quality, and much apparently depends on Brexit. If the UK separates from the EU... who knows?

All these pieces are available at Antiques And Teacups, plus other Old Country Roses items. All are identified by mark.

Friday, March 1, 2019

March 1st, St. David's Day, Daffodils And Welsh Cakes

March 1st is traditionally the National holiday of Wales and I am celebrating because Daffodils are a big part of it, being the national flower of Wales...
And I love Daffodils!

The national flower of Wales is the Daffodil which is often paired with the leek, the national symbol of Wales with the red dragon. St. David's Day, or Dayffd's Day is celebrated with all of these symbols. 

I love the scent of Daffodils , narcissus and jonquils. They really are the smell of spring to me. Ours aren't out yet. 

St. David was born in the 6th century and was a hero during wars with the Normans and was canonized and became the patron saint of the Welsh. St David's Day is celebrated with traditional clothing, parades and lots of red Welsh dragons.

I have a sugar shaker or muffineer from the 1930s that is a Welsh souvenir of a Welsh Lady in traditional dress with googly eyes. The sugar shaker is 6 inches high and 3.5 inches in diameter.

I LOVE the googly eyes...

And of course... a cup and saucer with Daffodils!
A pretty Roy Kirkham large bone china breakfast sized cup and saucer in a botanical design...

which features Daffodils along with other spring bulbs...

including the Crocus and Grape Hyacinths...which are currently popping up in my yard at the moment from under the...thankfully...diminishing snow...

For more info on the breakfast cup and saucer or sugar shaker at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

A traditional food for St. David's Day, which you can make easily...or in England find at the food halls year round of Aldi, Sainsbury's or Marks andSpencer's is the Welsh Cake which I love. They are a great item with a cup of tea at teatime!

I usually make them... and plan to tomorrow to honor the day!

Welsh Cakes

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups raisins
4 eggs
8 tablespoons milk
1.Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Put in butter and lard and mix until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and currants or raisins. Beat the eggs lightly and add to flour mixture with just enough milk to make a firm dough similar to shortcrust pastry.
2.Chill dough 1 to 2 hours.
3.Roll the dough to 1/4 inch on floured surface and cut with 3 inch rounds. Bake the cakes on a greased griddle or frying pan (I use my electric skillet with just a little non-stick spray) over low heat until golden brown. Cool and sprinkle with sugar. These also freeze well.


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