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!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Vintage Halloween!

Happy Hallowe'en...or All Hallow's Eve to you...the day before All Saints Day. Here are some vintage postcards...such fun!

These are some of mine & some from open source postcard archives....and the candy carn is here...but the bowl is slightly emptier....

And we have our black cat! This is Tinker on my Honey's lap...they are watching English football...soccer to Yanks...

This is my favorite graphic for today...with a tea theme!

That's from Pinterest, don't know the source. Have a lovely last-of-October day today...it's pouring here in the Pacific Northwest! But we don't mind...

Happy Hallowe'en from Antiques And Teacups!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rather Sad...Johnson Brothers Derelict Pottery

I came across some old photos from about 6 years ago taken on a trip to Stoke-On-Trent of the Johnson Brothers pottery building...one of the only ones of their 3 sites still standing which they are hoping to save...

Johnson Brothers is such a famous name in English pottery...especially transferware...think of Friendly Village and Rose Chintz...that it is so sad when I think of all the potteries that are either now closed or made elsewhere in the world. I carry quite a bit at my Antiques And Teacups website, but I really only like the older English made pieces...they feel different than the newer Indonesian and are better made.

Johnson Brother was founded in 1883, but in 1968 became part of the Wedgwood Group. But when subsequent reorganizations and slice-and-dice operations continued, the  various Johnson Brothers sites were closed, and fell into ruin. This one remains because of the distinctive so-called Bottle oven kilns...a distinctive shape that once dotted the Stoke-on-Trent skyline...

Another Johnson Brothers site on the Cauldon Canal was the Eagle Works...

This photo has the Johnson Brothers Hanley Pottery on the left and the Trent Pottery wall on the right....

Love this photo with the little 3 wheeled car...we loved seeing them in England...anyway, the site was demolished and this housing site was built on the former pottery site in 2013. 

The canal side houses are very upmarket, and they have done the same thing among the docks and warehouses in Birmingham along the canals as well...they are gorgeous. But it is sad in Stoke that it includes a lot of the lost history of the potteries that built the area. The are wasn't called The Potteries for nothing....   These last few photos are from The Potteries website.

The legacy of Johnson Brothers is immense. The company, as part of WWRD, Wedgwood, Waterford, Royal Doulton was acquired by the Finnish Company Fiskars this July, but whether or not they will move Johnson Brothers production back from the Far East remains to be seen.

Not far away from Johnson Brothers remaining site is the Gladstone Pottery Museum, which has become a bit of a catchment of local pottery lore and artifacts.  It is well worth a visit if you are in the area...but more on that in another post.

For a history of Johnson Brothers...except the recent stuff...here is a great article at Collector's Weekly HERE on the Johnson Brothers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Halloween, Shelley Black Teacup, Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins

Hi there and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...a Halloween version!

I have a confession to make! I did a tea party, photographed for this week...thinking that Halloween would be the week after's post...silly me! Proves how aware I am of dates..I have been working on my webshop plans for November & December, so was out of tough with right mow! So...that'll be next week, and I have pulled together a last minute Halloween post...and no tea party because it has been raining all day! Oh well...The photo of the Shelley Wileman decorated for Halloween I did for the front page of my website, but thought I'd use it because it's fits!!!

I had to scramble to find a black teacup...but I acquired this Shelley recently and had just listed it so I dug it out....the shape is Gainsborough, and the black is glossy black, and the interior is a Shelley pattern called English Rose...

The pattern number is 13640, and after the slash is the number 72 which designates the black exterior with burnished gold trim.  I have had this same pattern with a green exterior before,and one that was burgundy...although I don't remember what the color suffixes were of hand for those. The pattern number dates this to the late 1950s to 1966 when the pottery closed. Do you have any black teacups? Some folks hate them, but I think they are very dramatic!

My fall runner is on the buffet with the chenille pumpkin with it's fabric leaves, ceramic pinecones and a bowl of candy corn...found at our local natural food shop...which is kinda funny...made by JellyBelly.  

I always splurge on a small bag of candy corn at this time of year...for Halloween, and because October 30th is National Candy Corn Day. Candy Corn was created in the 1880s by a man named Renninger...I wonder if he has anything to do with the famous Renninger's antique fairs???? Anyway....But the funniest was finding Candy Corn Oreos....at our local Grocery Outlet store.

I just couldn't resist! Really sweet, but...pretty much a candy corn taste. So that's about it for my Halloween post...please forgive the simplicity! But...I come bearing goodies!!!!

I am repeating a pumpkin muffin recipe that from Southern Living Magazine October 2011 that I posted in 2012, because they are favorites of ours for company...or tea parties!

Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins


  • 2 cups pecan halves and pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • (15-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • large eggs
  • Preparation

    • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
    • 2. Stir together melted butter and next 2 ingredients. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoonful butter mixture into each cup of 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, and top each with 1 rounded tablespoonful pecans.
    • 3. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pumpkin, next 2 ingredients, and 2/3 cup water; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
    • 4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
    • 5. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert pan immediately to remove muffins, and arrange muffins on a wire rack. Spoon any topping remaining in muffin cups over muffins. Let cool 5 minutes.
    • Pecan-Pumpkin Bread: Omit butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Substitute 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans for 2 cups pecan halves and pieces; toast as directed in Step 1. Omit Step 2. Prepare batter as directed in Step 3; stir in pecans. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loafpans. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Makes: 2 loaves. Hands-on time: 20 min.; Total time 2 hr., 40 min....
    • And the bread is as good as the muffins!

  • Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, October Colors, Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Hi and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea. It is so very colorful with the autumn leaves flaunting glorious hues....

The tea party this week I put together in my sunroom on my little tea table is drawn from stock at Antiques And Teacups. I am calling it my Fall Tea...

I started with my family embroidered ecru linen runner, and put a fall colors tea cloth from the 1930-1940s over it with hand embroidered cross stitch salmon and rust colors with 4 matching tea napkins....

At least you can see the pretty colors with this photo. Then I added...taadaa...a Shelley teacup! What a surprise, right???!

This teacup is in the Bramble pattern and was made between 1963 and 1966 when the pottery closed. The design is a briar rose in pink, grey, black and lavender...a bit more understated than many of their patterns.

The shape is the Lincoln shape, which was only made briefly at the end of Shelley's history. But it's a nice sized cup of tea, and feels lovely in the hand!

There was no pattern number on this teacup...with some research I could probably find it in the Shelley pattern books I have, but with the last few weeks I will just say...unnumbered.

And another Shelley tea cup in the Swirls pattern in the art deco Regent shape...which is quite different than the other Shelley...

This teacup has the wonderful art deco ring handle. The pattern number is 12876, and it was made on and off between 1940-1952 in about 6 different colors and combinations with and without gold trim. So different from the other teacup, but in tune with the modern trends that began after World War II and eventually put the major potteries out of business because they didn't adapt to modern styling soon enough.

For a real change I also found this really unusual 3 footed Japanese porcelain teacup from the 1920-1930s...

This is really hand painted start to finish, which you see when you look closely. I think the design is chestnuts....

I couldn't identify the maker, as many of these teacups were never marked with a maker's mark, and many of the later 1950s Japanese teacups had foil stickers with the maker's mark, which washed, wore or fell right off. It's such a plus when you actually find one!

I just thought this was so unusual and fun! And I love footed teacups! Lots of folks collect them just for that reason. Adds a bit of spice to the tea table!

The tea I have today is an organic Green And Black Chai from Stash Tea. I like to have some green everyday, but have to mask it with something else, and the addition of black and the Chai spices does that nicely!

And as for the cookies, the plate I am using for my cookies is a Betsey Ross House green transferware souvenir plate from the 1940-1950s from Royal China, USA.

I love transferware, and green is one you don't see that often. I also like the American patriotic theme. So fun! For more info on any of he china items at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

The cookies I made for tea are an old recipe I got when we were first married 42+ years ago from a can of Libby's Pumpkin Puree...although I now use an organic brand from our local organic market....They are a perfect fall treat! here is the recipe which I stumbled across online...just the same as my can label!

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Glaze (recipe follows)
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.  Makes 36.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

How cool is that!?!  And we just finished off our half of a batch I made...froze the other half. How long they will stay frozen, is another question...lovely with a cup of tea, Chai or not!

I'll leave you with this photo I took this week outside our organic farm market, Sunny Farms. So much joyful color!

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Great Fall Entry Ideas With Pumpkins

I just had to share these great fall decorating ideas for entries from Southern Living magazine...enjoy!

Pumpkins are just so versatile...and are fab just by themselves! 

Such wonderful pops of color!

I am planning to do something tomorrow for my entry...still planning....


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