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, January 11, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Fantasy Birds, January Musings...

Did you know January is Hot Tea Month? It certainly is...although every month is hot tea month at our house...just thought you might like to know!  Welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea where we celebrate and share all things tea!

I am in a bird mood today. With the Christmas Bird Count just finished here by the Audubon Society and birds in our local news, I chose this wonderful teacup with what are called Fantasy Birds. Why? Because they are really our of an artist's imagination, and not a real bird at all. Really fantastic! The first fantasy birds came from the 16th century drawings of explorers back from foreign shores trying to replicate birds they saw or thought they saw from memory, or from recreating birds they had seen on artwork and china from China and Japan....many of which were actually mythical birds and not real ones!

This particular teacup is by Masons, England that was made in the 1890s of hand colored enamel on black transferware in a traditional Prunus or Peony Tree pattern with the fantasy birds. The cup and saucer is ironstone and a pretty early Mason's item...as seen by the rather messy painting. Part of that is not the skill of the painter but the paints being used then which weren't the best and ran in the kiln frequently, as this one had done to a degree. Remember the term Flow Blue? That was an earlier and more extreme example of that...using enamels instead of the flow blue transferware. I'd love to find one of those birds in my back yard! 

Mason's ironstone is fairly easy to date with the various marks recorded. The Mason's mark and pottery was run by G. L. Ashworth & Brothers after taking it over in 1883 along with other trademarks, and, having remained in the family, was renamed Mason's Ironstone China Ltd. in 1968 and is still in production, but have moved some manufacturing abroad...

For more about the teacup at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

I wanted to start out 2015 with a visit to a favorite book...and it has birds on the cover as well! Edith Holden's Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady is a perennial favorite...a book I return to again and again, which you are probably well aware of if you visit this blog often...

The leaves are identified as Elm, Oak, Beech, Chestnut and Sycamore.


  "Janiveer freeze the pot upon the fire"

"If the grass do grow in Janiveer, It grows the worse for it all the year."

"A wet January, a wet spring"

"The blackest month of all the year, is the month of Janiveer"

The book never ceases to charm me, and it always has something in it I've missed...a lovely dalliance with a cup of tea in the afternoon....

And speaking of January, this week's page in my Downton Abbey engagement calendar features Lady Mary and the quote:

"Because somehow with Matthew's death,
all the softness that he found in me seems
to have dried up and drained away.
Maybe it was only ever there in his imagination."

Well thanks for joining me for Tuesday Cuppa Tea...it's shortbread and Twinings Darjeeling in the sunroom this afternoon with my Royal Doulton Rosebud...always a pleasure to have you join me!  Below is some of the blog parties and the linky for your tea related posts...and PLEASE no selling sites!   The linky is SSLLLOOOOOWWW but does show up! And I am again all over the place with visits and visiting...trying to catch up with the fun stuff we missed with my husband's heart issues during December, so I may be late in responding to comments, but I will because I do love to hear from you! Have a great week!


  1. What an unusual and LOVELY tea cup. I have had some Mason's items but they usually seem to be blue and white. Yours is really special!

  2. What interesting info about the fantasy birds! And I love the shape of that Mason's teacup. I have a few pieces of Mason's ironstone and really enjoy them!

  3. Hello Ruth,
    I really like Masons dishware and your fantasy bird teacup is very unique and vibrant in colour. The Rosebud is a sweet pattern too. Wonderful posting and thank you for sharing with us. Have a lovely day.


  4. Hi Ruth,
    I loved the first picture of the tea actually pouring into the cup! Your teacup that you shared is so pretty. I also love the drawings from your favorite book. Aren't they sweet? I can see why you love it so. Thank you for hosting and have a happy week.

  5. Beautiful! I love that Mason's cup and saucer.

  6. Ruth, I love that Country Diary book and I love the Royal Doulton pattern you have shown here. It should be tea day every day! Thanks for hosting!

  7. My favourite Downton Abbey character is Anna so I was happy that Joanne Froggatt won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie.

  8. Hi Ruth,
    Your Mason's Birdie teacup is gorgeous! I have never seen one like it. I also love birds and your book is so perfect for anticipating springtime. What a pretty Royal Doulton rose teacup and cream and sugar. Thank you for hosting Tuesday Cuppa Tea sweet friend! Happy Tea Day! Karen

  9. Hello Ruth
    Thank you so much for hosting Tuesday Cuppa Tea this week with all that's going on in your life.
    I'll keep your husband in my prayers.
    Your amazing collection of tea cups and pots inspires me to grow my collection as the opportunity arises.
    Each time I see The Country Diary of an Edwardian lady I wish I had it too - I do have Beatrix Potter - A Journal which I posted about recently. I will add it to my list!
    Shane x

  10. Your posts with your special book are always enjoyable. I have had ironstone platters that old, but I have never seen a tea cup. What a special one! That may be the saddest quote I have ever read. This is a good season for Hubby's ticker to take a rest.

  11. What a delightful post- and what a beautifully illustrated book! I'm also more than a little jealous of your Downton engagement calendar!
    Wishing you and yours health and happiness in the 2015!


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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