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, September 28, 2014

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Antique Staffordshire Teacup Trio, Jane Austen Bits

Hello and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Cuppa tea, for a last week in September. I love this photo from the Dallas Arboretum that decorated using 65,000 pumpkins and gourds...now THAT'S decorating....

My simple wreath, fabric pumpkins and a fall colors leaf garland seems a bit tame after that!  But on to Tuesday Cuppa Tea and my choice today. 

As you have probably noticed if you follow my blog and meme, I tend to choose by what I'm sharing and this is no different.

My post today references a lot of Jane Austen things, so I tried to find a cup and saucer that I had that Jane Austen might have used. I did find this teacup trio that dates to either the Regency period which was 1811-1820, or shortly after but definitely before 1839, when English china was required to have a British Registry mark...sort of a kite shape with coded number and letter information in the corners...relating to month, day, date and class of china.  This teacup trio has only a pattern number, which was quite usual for items of this date.

The requirement to mark English china with the maker's name didn't come in until 1891, and before that, most potters didn't.  These pieces are generally referred to as Antique Staffordshire unless you can figure out the maker by knowing shapes or patterns. This is very well made china. The set does have kiln dust...black specks...from the firing process, which is pretty normal for the older designs.  This design was transfer printed then hand colored. This teacup trio is available at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos for more info.

I also remembered this single cup I had that is actually from the Chawton area in England where Jane Austen lived, and dates to just before or during her lifetime. The material of this teacup trio is soft paste porcelain, different from later bone china and ironstone. It was considered the bone china of it's day because it could be pretty delicately molded and shaped and was a stunning advancement in china development.

You can see that this was made by a smaller pottery. The design is all hand painted and very simple. Can you see the difference in the foot ring above? Look at the one of the teacup above...this foot ring is slightly pinker which is because it is of a different material. This cup...I only found the cup, not the saucer, dates to 1800-1820. I love it!

According to the Jane Austen Center in Bath, England, this is thought to be an undocumented portrait of Jane Austen. To read why the owners think so, click the portrait to read the story from the Rice family. Lovely to think so!

I told you this is lots of bits about Jane Austen. The 200th anniversary of the publishing of her books started a few years ago with Pride and Prejudice and Sense And Sensibility last year, and Mansfield Part just recently. At the Jane Austen Society annual meeting in Bath, England on Sept. 13th, the Guinness Book Of Records mark was broken of the biggest group in period costume...550 to be exact. Here is the group gathered at the Pump Room, a place Jane Austen knew well...

Also of note in the Jane Austen history, one of only 3 items known to have been owned by Jane Austen was sold at auction in 2013 to American singer Kelly Clarkson for 152,450 pounds. But there was such an uproar, that the sale was frozen and the Jane Austen devotees given until last Dec. to raise the funds to keep it in the UK. Apparently the money was raised and the ring will remain in the UK at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, England. For the story of the purchase, click HERE.

Lastly, I have a related book review. There have been hundreds of Jane Austen novel spin offs, of varying success, over the years. But I got this one on Kindle recently Expectations by Frances Murray   which was really enjoyable. It was a pleasure to encounter familiar Pride And Prejudice characters in this novel dating to after Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage. The dialogue was deft, the characters extremely well done and I loved it. Mr. Collins is just as ...well...you know....and as for Lady Catherine, well"I knew how it would be..."

So that's it for this week's Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I  have the list of some of the blogs I am joining, and the linky for your tea related post. Remember, it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWW but does work. Please be patient! I love to hear from you! Have a wonderful tail end of September.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Autumn Tea, Scones and Clotted Cream, Fall Decorating

Hello and welcome to another fall edition of my tea things meme Tuesday Cuppa Tea...

Today I spent my afternoon tea time...more about that later...looking at the new October Victoria magazine. Beautiful. 

Their inside thematic photo page which always sets the stage for the issue was a gorgeous basket of autumn gourds...

And the quote:

"Thy beauty shines in autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast
for all who live."
by James Thomson

I am joining Sandi's tea party today....

My teacup today is one I recently found and fell in love with. The colors were just a rich fall palette to me, so that's why I am sharing it today...

The pattern is difficult to photograph because of the paneled shape and gold foliage overlay over the forest green and white panels....

The teacup and saucer are by an English maker called Elizabethan which is a trade name of Taylor and Kent, England. The mark dates it to the 1960-1978. Taylor and Kent were taken over by the Churchill group in 1991, but was later closed and demolished in 1996. Very sad!  Another good pottery gone.

I am pretty passionate about teacups...I consider them as works of art. And as many of the manufacturers are now gone, I am afraid they will disappear unless we love them!

But on a brighter note, my afternoon tea today has a great new tea....

An organic Paisley Brand English Breakfast from Two Leaves...or Two Leaves And A Bud as they are also known. I got in Victoria, BC recently and it is a good strong black tea with a lovely complex flavor. I can taste some Darjeeling in there, and love it!

And of course...scones and clotted cream!

I used to make both from scratch often, but nowadays, that doesn't happen much. I always have some Green's Scone Mix from England on hand, and mix that up for a teatime goody if I am pressed for time...

I make them in the wedge shape usually...they seem simpler to me...but just as tasty as round...here is the dough are just being cut and just about to be glazed and sugared...

and cooling on the rack cooling...

And the Taa-Daa moment with cream and peach preserves...

The ingredient I also no longer make...because it doesn't keep more than a few days from the home made recipe I grew up with...is the clotted cream...but, this is a fairly good substitute...

We used to stock this in the bricks-and-mortar antiques and tea items shop we had. It doesn't quite taste the same as the stuff you make yourself, but it is a lot easier.  If you want to try to make it at hope:

1 pint double cream...full fat whipping cream...at least 40% butterfat which is very hard to find.

Have a rectangular glass baking dish handy. Pour in the cream, making sure you have at least 1-2 inch clearance to top. Also, the more surface area the better.

Put it in a 180 degree oven overnight...at LEAST 8 hours up to 10-12 hours, just check it doesn't dry out. A yellow crust will form on the top...that's the clotted cream. 

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for an hour or 2 until firm. With a spoon, take the cream with yellow crust layer out and put in covered jars in the fridge. If any liquid remains below the cream layer, it can be used like buttermilk, but the thick stuff with the yellow crust is the clotted cream.

So thanks for joining me today. Remember to join Sandi for her Autumn Tea. I'll be visiting these blogs and others which is such a treat!  The linky is below for your tea related blog posts...as usual, remember it is SSSLLLOOOOOOOWW but it does appear and work. I love to hear from you! Have a wonderful week.

Friday, September 19, 2014

United Kingdom IS Still United

It's official! The historic vote is in, and Scotland is to remain part of the United Kingdom!

I have yet to hear Queen Elizabeth's address about the vote...she is actually in Balmoral, Scotland on her annual holiday...but it will be strengthening and gracious. Many different issues that have been hotly debated, and have been divisive. Hope that will heal. A political cartoon of the last few days from cartoonist Pat Bagley sums up the thoughts leading to todays vote...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tuesday Cuppa Tea - Fall Fabulous! Retro Noritake, New Royal, Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Hi there and welcome to a fall edition of Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

It is actually summery here during the day, but already dropping at night and the leaves on the Japanese Maples & Liquid Ambers are well into their changing colors. So I chose a retro 1970s leaf patterned teacup for today....Noritake Palos Verde....

I am very partial to this style..you'll see why later in the post. I love the design of this...the pattern looks like a stylized Aspen leaf.

The teacup is in porcelain, not bone china like my usual choices, and was in a production line by Noritake called Progression, which was touted as unbreakable, and any breakages would be replaced at no charge. But...that was withdrawn by 1977, so it was obviously a hopeful claim, rather than factual. The Palos Verde teacups, teapot, salt and pepper and cream and sugar are available on my website, Antiques And Teacups.

The Noritake company was started at Morimura in 1876, and continues to this day, with several hundred different back stamps. The first Noritake appeared in 1908 but was usually combined with Nippon or Morimura and finally combined with an M for Morimura until it became straight Noritake in 1934. Usually pattern numbers appear, but in this case, the 9020 stands for the line of Progression which had 6 different patterns on the same shape. 

And you can see by my tea above, why I am so fond of the Palos Verde. I received a set of Blue Moon Progression china for our wedding in 1974 and still love it and use it daily. Beth, of Beyond The Garden Gate blog has the same pattern!

Today tea includes the most delicious organic biscotti bites from Dilettante' bakery and a sample of Numi English Breakfast tea I was given by a friend.

The tea was okay, but I am afraid I like the depth of the English English Breakfast teas...this was a little weak kneed for me....but the biscotti is wonderful!!!

Remember just over a year ago when Prince George was born? Well, this is old news to some of you, having been announced on Sept. 8th, but William and Kate are again expecting. The photo above is my favorite christening photo, as I love the look on Queen Elizabeth's face smiling at her new great grandchild.

Kate is again suffering with severe morning sickness, as with her first pregnancy, but is being treated at Kensington Palace at home...their doctors do house calls! instead of at the local hospital because it was such a media circus last time it disrupted the hospital too much. So...Will and Kate will soon have an "heir and a spare" which is the jocular term usually used for the second pregnancy.  Kate is about 10-12 weeks along. We wish them the best!

So many friends have been posting such wonderful fall images I remembered these from the Cottage Journal which is sent to subscribers of Hoffman Publication magazines which include Victoria magazineTea Time magazineSouthern Lady magazine; Celebrate magazine among others. I get several and they are my favorites. 

And here is a really wonderful looking recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding which is real comfort food!

Makes 6 servings

8 cups cubed croissants (1/2-inch cubes), toasted
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
2 tablespoons bourbon

1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
2. Spray 6 (8-ounce) ramekins with nonstick baking spray with flour.
3. In a large bowl, combine toasted croissant cubes, walnuts, raisins, and crystallized ginger.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
5. Pour over croissant mixture, tossing gently to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
6. Divide mixture evenly between prepared ramekins.
7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If the pudding begins to brown, cover loosely with foil.)
8. Remove from oven. Cool in ramekins for 10 minutes.
 In a medium bowl, combine caramel topping and bourbon, whisking well. Serve over bread pudding.

And some suggestions for fall table and home decor as well:

A naturally elegant table is easy when you glean from fall’s bounty. Bring in color from the outdoors or with seasonal produce, and add textures and soft candlelight for a cozy autumn gathering. Set the stage for centerpieces and other decorative touches by gathering similar containers. Use pebbles, nuts, berries, or dried beans as foundation elements for anchoring branches, flowers, and candles. Tea lights and votives are easy to incorporate into a fall tablescape. Miniature pumpkins can be carved to hold candles. Try dressing up candleholders with tiny twigs, sweet-gum balls, and other dried foliage. Secure with hot glue, and finish with twine or raffia. 

Here are some of the blogs I'll be visiting...list under construction...

The Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky is below for your tea related posts, and I love to hear from you. I just want to remind you the linky is SSLLLOOOOOOOWWW but it does come up with patience!  Have a wonderful week!


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