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!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Edwardian Beauty in Amazing Places...Should be at Downton Abbey

As I was opening the blinds this morning I was struck anew by the amazing Victorian into Edwardian era penchant for making ordinary things extraordinarily beautiful...

This is sitting in the living room here...but it didn't start life there....it belongs on  the bedroom, bath room or dressing room of an English home of some consequence...do you know what it is? It's about 12 inches high by 12 inches in diameter....it's variously called a waste bucket or slop pail, regardless of the fact that it is the finest English porcelain, by Copeland Spode, and gorgeously decorated with lots of metallic gold accents and trim.

Before indoor plumbing, and even after, bedrooms often had pitcher and bowl sets in the bedrooms or dressing rooms for washing...not sinks and running hot and cold taps....the water carried up each day by hard working servants. Then the used water needed somewhere to go...and here it is.   The waste water was then carried outside and onto the garden usually.  This was made by the mark, between 1904 and 1907, in the height of the Edwardian era...think Downton Abbey, just before the first World War, and would have been an extremely expensive set...

I had gotten an entire set in England with pitcher, bowl, covered soap dishes, covered brush dishes, etc, but most of it didn't survive the shipping in good condition.  But the set was so gorgeous I salvaged what I could....

The pitcher has a rim crack, the bowl split in two...but sits on top of my bedroom armoire anyway....and this waste bucket, although it has a large crack down one side, sits in the living room...I have thought of putting a plant in it, but it has a liner that I couldn't use then....

You can see the crack on the top left...sigh...the design is just so beautiful! Utilitarian, pedestrian, unglamorous...and just plain beautiful! 

So regardless of it's less than glamorous use, it was still made with a meticulous eye to beauty....William Morris would approve...his saying is the motto for my Antiques And Teacups at Etsy website...

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” William Morris, 1834-1896


  1. First off, Ruth, let me start by saying WOW - it is truly gorgeous. Secondly - I cringed and nearly cried when you said nearly everything was damaged in shipping. Isn't it horrible that something can survive 150 years, yet can't make it unbroken today? That makes me sick in my tummy for you.

    When I get something broken in transit it makes me nauseous. Maybe that's why I overpack and over bubble-wrap every single thing that leaves my home. I never want to be the reason an antique breaks, that's for sure. I know you feel the same.

    That is an absolutely gorgeous piece!

  2. What a pity it's damaged, dear Ruth !
    Sometimes it happens when things are so delicate ...

    Enjoy the remainder of your week, darling
    sending much love to you, and thank you for showing such a beauty !

    With love


  3. beautiful, i never worry about a little damage it makes things affordable


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