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!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thursday Tea Things And Talk, Variations In China

Hello and welcome to Thursday Tea Things and Talk. I hope you will share your posts relating to tea...whether a recipe, a teacup or teapot, a visit to a tea room or anything of interest to all of us who love tea, taking it and talking about it! The linky is at the end of the post.

I am especially glad to be with you today, as I didn't think it would be possible. I want to thank all of you lovely ladies for your kind words in comments and emails and prayer when I shared my husband has Parkinson's Disease, which I haven't said much about, and his being ill. We thought from Monday evening until Tuesday am he would have to be admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, but Tuesday morning the fever broke and he is recovering. I apologize that I haven't been able to visit, but I will in the next few days try to catch up. I so look forward to your posts.

One of the things discussed last week was the way china patterns will differ, although named the same, and why.  As I hadn't had anything planned for today, thinking I'd be spending at the hospital, I thought I'd talk about that. Many of my examples are from Shelley, as I have been dealing with Shelley and researching it for almost 30 years. They also have one of the better lists of patterns.

There are many reasons that patterns will differ. Shape is a big one. Not everyone likes the same shape of teacups, so the potteries usually have each pattern available in different shapes. Shelley, over the life of the pottery made 142 different shapes. The same pattern might be used on 6-8 different shapes through the years. Tastes, fashions and styles would change, but if a pattern was popular it might be released in a different shape as a complement to a dish set...and frankly, to increase the revenue stream. Think of the variations Royal Albert has made with Old Country Roses over the years.  

The above photo is the Shelley Rosebud pattern in the Dainty shape, and the photo below is the Rosebud pattern on the Ludlow shape, made at about the same time.

As Old Country Roses demonstrates...which now has a New Old Country Roses patterns, Shelley changed some of it's designs over the years but kept the same name. The following 2 photos are of the Shelley Wild Flowers pattern developed in the 1920s followed by the Wild Flowers pattern that was substituted in the late 1940s when the company felt tastes had changed. 

The shape on the old Wild Flowers pattern, especially the art deco square shaped plate and the "bean" handle called the old Cambridge from the 1930s was used only infrequently after 1950 as it was felt to be old fashioned. The newer Wild Flowers is on an more"up to date_ pattern called Richmond that was used first in 1938 and continued in use until the pottery closed in 1966.

Another difference was in the trim, and vividness of the pattern. Below are 2 examples of cups and saucers in the Old English Roses pattern by Royal Albert. made at approximately the same time. Note the shape difference as well. The trim on one, although brushed on as opposed to painted on in a line of trim is not where near as lush as the heavily brushed and burnished gold trim of the bottom version. 

I know this is pretty well scratching the surface of the endless variations possible with china patterns. One of the thing I love with my Shelley obsession is the various combination patterns they have made over the years, or the differences you find due to the individual artist that painted or applied the decal to the teacup. Fascinating. 

These photos are of the artists at work in the Royal Patrician potteries in Stoke-on-Trent...unfortunately now closed.

So thank you again for your kind thoughts, comments, emails and prayer. I am looking forward to visiting everyone. Have a great weekend, and I hope this has been an interesting tidbit of china info for Thursday Tea Things And Talk. Here are some of the blogs I am joining:

What’s It Wednesday                                           
Home On Wednesday
 A Tea Lover     ~http://the-teaist.blogspot.com/
Tea Talk Wednesday
 Coloradolady  ~ http://coloradolady.blogspot.com/
Vintage Thingie Thursday
 Mrs. Olson ~  http://jannolson.blogspot.com/
Share Your Cup Thursday

and the linky for your tea related posts. I'd be honored to have you link, and would love it if you'd leave a comment.


  1. Such a Lovely post as usual! So fascinating to learn the stories behind the patterns!
    I'm so sorry to hear of your husbands health concerns- thoughts and prayers are with you both - so glad it wasn't pneumonia but hope he is feeling better.

  2. Iam also sorry to hear about your husbands sickness. You are both in my prayers.
    Love your post on the china teacups and history behind them. We have a Shelley Dainty Blue to sell Friday evening, I hope to buy it but your never know. God bless...

  3. Dear Ruth,
    What an informative, interesting post. Love hearing about it and seeing the pictures of the artists at work. I wish they were all still open and thriving. I was lucky to go to the Spode factory 8 years ago. They were still doing some work there and it was so great to see.
    I hope your hubby is continuing to feel better and stronger.
    Fondly, Ruthie

  4. I had missed hearing about your husband's illness but am so pleased he didn't have to be admitted to the hospital! Wishing good health to you both! And thanks for all the great info in today's post. It is *most* helpful when you showed the two different examples of things. You are a great teacher!

  5. Wow that was a great lot of info on Shelly and fabulous t know, thanks so much for sharing this, beautiful teacups, BIG WARM HEALING wishes sent your way, have a peaceful weekend...

  6. So glad to hear your hubby is on the mend, Ruth. Thank you for sharing about the variations in China patterns. Your Shelley pieces are just beautiful! My mother had a teacup in the Old English Rose pattern that you've featured. She gave it to my granddaughter [her great-granddaughter]. I've pondered getting the teacup myself in remembrance of my mom since her middle name is Rose. It's such a pretty pattern in both variations. ~ Phyllis

  7. Glad things are better with your husband. You shared some pretty cups and great information.

  8. Dear Ruth,so sorry to hear about your husband, but I'm thankful that he was able to avoid a trip to the hospital. I will keep you both in my prayers.
    Thank you for all the information in your blog. I always learn so much form you.

  9. It's always a pleasure to learn more about teacups and other china from fellow bloggers.
    Sorry to hear about your husband, wishing him a speedy recovery.

  10. I absolutely love your blog- though I don't get here as often as I should like - always learn, always sigh, always appreciate and admire- thank you so much.

    As you know, I have a set of that first Olde English Roses with the bulbous cup - I really like the other one too but certainly don't need two, haha. Well maybe I do but not gettin it, haha.

    Sorry I am late for your linky party!! Thanks for hosting!!

  11. Best to your hubby for a speedy recovery. Such a lovely set. Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Ruth, so sorry to hear that your husband has Parkinson's. I have a friend whose husband has had it for years. She has been such a devoted wife. Prayers and blessings in both of your behave. This was really an interesting and informative post. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing with SYC.


Thanks for visiting and we love to hear from you! We read every comment. If my husband's health permits, I love to visit andreply. Have a wonderful day and a cuppa tea always at hand! :)


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