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, July 14, 2019

Strawberries, Strawberry Scones And Summer With Miss Read

Isn't that a wonderful strawberry collage? It is from Beth Style Book. Love her work...
I love strawberries, and they are on our menu as much as possible this time of year... from atop the breakfast oatmeal, on french toast, in salads, or on the tea table.
I have strawberry scones for tea today...actually had it all ready last week, but...good thing I had photographed it already as the goodies are all gone!

As I was deciding what to use for this tea, I got to a Shelley tea set I have and decided to use it, because I love the aqua and white of the Drifting Leaves pattern...

This set is in the Gainsborough shape and so the teapot is very curvy...
which I love!

The pattern was a true mid century design with it's stylized leaves a "snow crystals? and was only made from 1956 to 1966 when the pottery closed. The pattern number is number 13848.

The teacups are so sweet...I love the Gainsborough shape...actually one of my favorites!

 The mark again...the set was made late enough in Shelley's history that the pieces are always marked with the pattern name.

Many earlier china only had numbers, not marks, and then they became more consistent with marking with the name.

I am using another of my embroidered tea cloths...this has multicolored Daisies. It has a few stains, so I have a project next week to see if I can get those out. I recently found a forgotten box of linens in the back of the closet I brought home from an England trip just before a move that I had completely forgotten about! Just like Christmas!

I also have luncheon plates in the Drifting Leaves pattern, and a creamer and sugar basin and a cake plateau which I forgot to get out, although I remembered the sandwich tray!....

And a rectangular sandwich tray...those are really hard to find... on the tray are the fresh Strawberry Scones I made...the recipe is below...

And a perfect book to read for tea time...

Summer At Fairacre by Miss Read.

I have collected the entire series of her books. The series features school teachers in small Cotswolds villages of Fairacre, Thrush Green, Caxley and surrounding areas and cover from the late Victorian to the 1970s in various books. They are wonderful! I was first given one by my new sister-in-law after marrying my husband in 1974 and visiting his family in England, and was instantly hooked.

I think I have all Miss Read books...and regularly re-read them, whether seasonally... like this one for summer, or just by what appeals... The stories are so charming!

But back to strawberries!

We get 2 kinds of organic strawberries here...the larger American variety seen at the top of the blog...perfect sliced for pies or dipped in chocolate...and the smaller English variety seen in the photo above, with a different and more intense strawberry flavor that we love. They are the straberries I used in this recipe, although both are good!

The Strawberry Shortcake Scones recipe I used is from the blog BellyFull at


Tender flaky scones with fresh strawberries throughout and a dreamy glaze!
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 12 small strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 3/4 cup half and half
For the glaze
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender (or your hands) until mixture resembles crumbs.
  3. Toss in strawberries and coat lightly with the flour mixture. Add half and half and fold together gently until the mixture just begins to come together and form a soft dough. (Do not knead or over mix the dough.)
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a 1-inch thick rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut the rectangle into 6 squares, then cut the squares on the diagonal to form 12 triangles. Place scones on prepared baking sheet and bake 16-18 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment on a work surface, then place a cooling rack over top of parchment. Remove scones from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 10 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, vanilla, and half and half until smooth. (If glaze is too thick, add a bit more cream. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.)
  7. Generously drizzle scones with the glaze. (Glaze will firm up when scones are completely cool.) Eat and enjoy!

There you go! They didn't last around here! Moist and tender...delicious!
Thanks so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th of July to you all! 

Happy 4th of July, America's birthday! I hope you have a fun day planned with friends and family. Ours includes a barbecue...chicken,  hot dogs with potato salad and Blueberry Dutch Baby for dessert...my Honey's current favorite dessert...not as American as Apple Pie, but...the recipe follows later in the post.

I love this antique 4th of July hand colored cabinet card I found on Pinterest, with no source given Wonderful!

I wanted a patriotic teacup for today, so decided to share a Sandwich pattern depression glass cup and saucer made by Indiana Glass Company, USA. 
The Sandwich pattern is one of the oldest pressed glass patterns, so I thought it might be appropriate. 

Different variations were made by several different makers and are distinguished by slight nuances of the number of petals, how they are outlined, etc. For more info on the teacup at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

Among the makers, there are very slight pattern variations that can be used to tell one maker from another...among thm being petals on the Daisies, types and placement of leaves, if the Daisies have one petal outline or two...you get it. This is either by Indiana Glass Company or the Duncan Glass Company, and was made in the 1930-1940s.

 Here on the Olympic Peninsula of far northwestern Washington state, the saying is that summer arrives on July 4th, and it's heading that way today. We are supposed to be in the upper 60s beginning a clearing and warming trend...we hope! We are all ready for it! There is even an outdoor concert by our city band in the park bandshell and fireworks at night with various other things going on. I love the summer!  

My ONLY problem today is trying to keep my husband from flying the Union Jack instead of the Stars And Stripes outside. He has been known to do that...once a Brit always a Brit, despite his now being a US citizen! So this is for him...a photo of the Union Jack he always flies...this one at the mountain lake we used to live at...

And he thought this was funny... so I posted it on my Facebook page... Brit humor, indeed!

A friend came for a visit on Thursday and brought a portion of a Red Velvet cake dressed for the holiday. As is often the case, I never thought to take photos then, but did yesterday when we finished the rest in the sunroom for afternoon tea, so it's a mini 4th of July...

I am using my Royal Doulton Rosebud china from the 1930s, and one of my teapots with blue flowers.

And because there always seems to be a Shelley at hand, this is one of my very favorites...I use it for my Facebook avatar. It's a landscape design Shelley made through most of their time but done on different shapes. This is in the New Cambridge shape with gold trim. The design is called by 2 names depending on manufacture...both Glorious Devon and Surrey Scenery. I just love it!

I mentioned our dessert...haven't made the one for the 4th yet...it's best eaten warm from the oves, but this is one I made a week ago. It is called variously clafouti, Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake, but I grew up in our Brit family calling it Nana's Yorkshire dessert or Yorkshire Pud Sweet because the batter is very similar to a Yorkshire pudding...but baked with butter as the fat instead of meat fat, and a bit of sugar added. So...here is my Nana's recipe...

Blueberry Yorkshire Pudding Dessert

1/2 cup flour...I use either unbleached or our local organic white Wheat
1/2 cup milk...only almond milk in this kitchen
2 large eggs
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1/2 cup blueberries, either fresh or frozen...any fruit can be substituted
juice from a lemon
powdered sugar
maple syrup if desired...we use organic pure

Preheat oven to 425 degrees or 400 if convection with rack in lowest position. 
Beat flour, milk, eggs, salt, sugar and nutmeg, which may be a bit lumpy. Let sit and rest while you prepare pan.

The original calls for a cast iron skillet, but I have never used one...instead using a 9.5 inch Pyrex pie plate I got in 1974 as a wedding present.

Place butter in pan in oven until melted, then remove, pour in the batter and distribute the berries. Return pan to oven and bake until puffy and golden, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, powdered sugar and eat warm with maple syrup, if desired. Serves 4...although we have been known to finish it in one go...blush...blush!

Friday, June 28, 2019

National Cream Tea Day... Second Date

There were 2 dates listed on my English daily planner calendars I have yearly for National Cream Tea Day...
June 8th and June 28th...
2 excuses to celebrate that wonderful (and probably lethal) concoction clotted cream, but we are celebrating it, not disparaging it...

An afternoon tea at Trellissick we had a couple of years ago... National Trust property, previously the home of Lord Copeland

By accepted definition, a cream tea should have clotted cream, but if not available Devonshire cream...not nearly the same, but... or in the US if you aren't able to find or make the real thing, whipped cream or a combo concoction with various substitutes makes due... but nothing beats the real thing, fresh made in Cornwall or Devon.

In the UK, you can find the actual clotted cream refrigerated, especially Roddas in many areas and big stores like Marks & Spencers, Waitrose, etc...which is pretty close to fresh. 

The Devon Cream Company... which you can sometimes find here in the US, is pretty good as well, but make sure if you try it that it is refrigerated, because it is perishable and the flavor changes if it is left out of the refrigerator.  
If it is just on a shelf... pass!
We used to stock it in our antique and tea items brick and mortar, and kept a jar as an example on a shelf that had been emptied and filled with tiny styrofoam pellets and a fridge below with the stock.

Photo with a jar from a past blog post, and our favorite Strawberry with Champagne jam to have with the cream...heaven!

And there are even cream teas served at sea... and done well!
On the Queen Mary 2 we have had it almost daily with freshly made clotted cream... but you would expect the British Cunard to do it well!

But even on other ships as well... 

So enjoy! It is something that never fades in appeal!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Victoriana pt 2 An Era I love

Hello! I hope it has been as lovely where you are... we have had warm and lovely spring weather, which we have really enjoyed.

With Queen Victoria's 200th birthday recently passed, I was thinking of the Victoriana I have... and enjoying thinking about the Victorian age... which officially spreads from the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1937 until her death in 1901... although it intruded a few tears beyond that until the Edwardian era... named for one of her sons who succeeded her.

I have always loved the era while being aware of it's drawbacks... and shared some things from my grandmother born during the reign of Queen Victoria. Here are a few more items of interest I hope...

The Victorian era included several different design trends due to her reign lasting for 64 years. Among these, I love art nouveau and another which partially overlapped that calle the Aesthetic Movement.
The designs were drawn for naturalitic and orientalism motifs, and often in collages or vignettes like this plate above by E. E Elsworth in the Lily And Fan pattern from 1878...

The great thing is that I can tell you the exact date this plate design was registered, because it has the Design Registry diamond or kite mark as it is called, or Rd. kite. There are charts of reference which decipher each of the letters to decode the type of item... ceramics/dinnerware, and the date codes of May 14, 1878.  In 1883, the diamond mark was replaced with just numbers.
So helpful forknowing when the design was registered!

Also a fun thing any Victorian would recognize is this sucrier or sugar box. Sugar was refined and packedinto and sold in cones, which were then cut into chunks... much larger than sugar cubes. As sugar becasme more refined, the sugar bowls got smaller. The above sucrier dates to the 1880s and is actually an American piece by Burroughs and Mountford which as Aesthetic design.

 They are used for a cookie jar or tea caddy nowadays, being so much bigger than a sugar bowl.

This is a superb little French 19th century Haviland, Limoges France demitasse cup and saucer... made in France during the Victorian era in England...

The design is a lovely blue floral with a gold hatching overlay and borders...it is exquisitely made...

This Haviland & Co. mark dates it to 1875-1885. Limoges is not the maker, but denotes the area of France, Limoges. It is like seeing things in England marked Staffordshire... that is not a pottery but a city full of potters... or was... more's the pity... There were actually several hundres potters in the Limoges area. Many signed with the maker or pottery name as well, but many only signed their wares Limoges which often confuses people.

And another of my favorite patterns, which was made in several different variations by many different potteries from the beginning end of the 18th century all the way through until the 1930s. The pattern is variously called Grandmother's, Chelsea, Chelsea Sprig, Chelsea Grape and others. Often the design had copper luster applied to the "sprigs" or applied blue design elements. You can see the relation to Wedgwood jasperware, but a different material and approach.

This set is by Addeleys who probably produced the pattern the longest and of the best quality. The mark dates it to the 1890s.
You cans see the delicacy of the porcelain, as the applied blue sprigs show through.

And lastly another Aesthetic Movement design of Poppies with a squares shape....

I tried for weeks to see if I could identify the impressed mark to find the maker, but it is just too obscurred. I have asked several specialists, and no one recognizes it and all have concluded it eas a small pottery working in Staffordshire in the 1880s... so that's all I can tell you.

Two different books about the Victorian era are favorites of mine for different reasons.
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew 

by Daniel Pool 
covers the pre Victorian Regency era when when Jane Austen lived into the Victorian era.
It covers phrases,  food, dress, traditions and everything of interest from an entertaining, lighthearted account.

The other book...
Life In Victorian England
by W. J. Reader is a more stark, documentary from a serious historical perspective, and is not for light reading.
It is eye opening if you have found yourself watching Victoria on PBS, and wishing you had lived during that period.
The facts are stark, unflinching, historically supported and documented.
It helps to understand why Charles Dickens was such a crusader for the poor.
It actually has parallels with our times... as people attempt to come to terms with new and unknown technology that changes an entire nation and causes change on all sides, for good and evil.

My grandmother, Emma Bridgewater nee Rice.
Here pictured at age 18 participating in country manor theatricals.
She was born in 1881 in Leicester, England.
Her life spanned Queen Victoria's Golden and Diamond Jubilees, the death of Victori in 1901, World War I, immigrating to the US with her new husband...the space age, the internet and many things until her death at 99.

And I am so grateful for her remembrances and treasures of the Victorian age she shared with and left to me.
Her birthday is June 21st, and I remember her fondly every year.


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