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 29, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Jane Austen Tea And Other Royal Things

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! This week has a Jane Austen theme primarily, with a few other bits of news...

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love” 

Being a decades long lover of Jane Austen...6 to be sure...I knew January 28, 1813, was the date that Pride and Prejudice was published. So this last week, I decided to honor that date, because I was reading a number of books about Jane Austen found while cleaning a closet that included many books.

I set my tea tray on my Victorian platform rocker, and found several pieces illustrative of the period.

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

First let me introduce you to my teacup. The teacup is a bit later than Jane, dating to the 1850s, but is the oldest I have...and it's blue and white...my favorite colors! 

Jane was born in 1775 and died in 1817. The shape is called New York, and it is unmarked. I can only attribute it to an English Staffordshire pottery. I love the trellis design and the transferware designs of 18th century figures.

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

As a backdrop, I have a lithograph titled The Admiralty, London, that depicts the faous building during the Regency era when Jane Austen lived. She visited London several times with one or the other of her brothers.

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

The biscuit jar, which is by Royal Winton Grimwades and dates to the 1950s actually, features a design called Old English Coaching Scenes and depicts a mode of travel Jane was very familiar with, as her family was of modest means and therefore did not keep their own carriage. The only exception was her brother Edward, who was adopted as heir by a childless relative by the name of Knight, if he took their name instead of Austen.

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

The world Edward joined, the landed gentry, including hunting as a pastime, and my teapot has the blue transferware pattern depicting that. The ironstone teapot has no marks but dates to the 1930s in England.

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

And something any lady of the time was very familiar with...a silk parasol to keep the sun off one's lily white pale compexion, as a tan was condiered unbecoming and decidedly working class and therefore to be avoided...

This is actually my grandmother's, and again dates to the 1870s rather than Jane's era, but...

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

My tray cloth is a pretty vintage hand made one from England with hand embroidery and crocheted edging, but dates far later than Jane's time...

“We are all fools in love” 

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

And here are the Jane Austen books I am enjoying this week in her honour....

The one I have had the longest... a 1973 omnibus of all her works...mind you, it's 3 inches + thick, and good for developing biceps as well as the mind when it is read. I must confess I now have all of Jane's books on Kindle...much more portable!

“A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.
It is something to think of” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

Beloved Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson...I have shared this before...a wonderful book with recipes and quotes from various of her books and other period books.

The book Jane Austen In Style by Susan Watkins featuring a cover photo of Lizzie dancing with Wickham on a backdrop of her dress fabric. The book was published in 1996 and is more about the regency period, manners and history, but engrossing.

And lastly, a book I dearly love, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool. It is really a history of the entire Victorian era, and if you are watching Victoria, this is a great historical accompaniement. Preferably with a Syllabub at hand...

“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

Well, no surprise which is my favorite film version....

No teatime treats today...had a dental problem develop last week in a disagreement with an almond, and have an appointment Monday with my dentist, so...

For thos of you enjoying Victoria, here...I hope...is a video from several years ago by UK History about the historical background of Queen Victoria's early reign...fascinating!

And another royal note, this was relased by Princes William and Harry from Kensington Palace a few days ago....

A favorite portrait ny Nicholas Testino, a wonderful royal photographer.

So thank you for joining me for my salute to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. Have a lovely week...I will after the dentist... Lol!

Here 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 I do read every one if I can find and can get to you to visit!  If you comment from Google+…it isn’t easy...so forgive me if I am not replying to comments you so kindly leave...I am trying!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Robert Burns, Heather And Thistles

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea... this week a celebration of Robert Burns!

Happy Birthday to Robert Burns!

 I love this poem of his:

Then let us pray that come what may
As come it will for a' that...
That man to man the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a'that.

Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759 and lived until only 1796 and is revered as one of the most famous poets of all time, and certainly the most revered Scottish poet and song writer.  He is called one of the founders of the Romantic era and also as a social reformer. His works were both lyrical, romantic and full of social and political plain spoken opinions.

So we had a Burns Tea in the sunroom... with 2 friends...Scotties from a Scottish tea towel I have...

The heather is from the yard, and the Burns cottage photo in the silver frame from a visit a few years ago...

I managed to find 2 teacups with a Scottish Heather theme... this first one is by Paragon and is called Highland Queen. 

The pattern was named for, and bears the royal warrant  for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, wife of King George VI and mother of the current Queen Elizabeth II, who has Scottish roots. 

The queen grew up at the Bowes-Lyons home of Glamis Castle by Dundee Scotland...

Paragon finally went out of production in 1992 after various mergers ending with the WWRD partnership, when it was discontinued.

This teacup is by Rosina and has a wonderful pattern of different Heathers tied with tartan ribbons...it isn't named. The cup and saucer dates to the 1950s and has the wonderful brushed gold that is seldom done anymore...  Rosina quietly was dropped in the late 1960s by Queen's China who owns the name. Queen's is still in production in a much smaller way than before, but is not using Rosina.

The Scottish Heather seemed so appropriate so I went looking in the garden. We have 3 colors here, but we have had the coldest winter in years, and where there are usually 3 vibrant colors flourishing at this time of year, I found few stems with open bells... I tucked a bit of Forsythia in for color...

I added a few souvenirs of Scotland... an English 1930s souvenir horse brass with the Scottish Thistle...

Thistles, Heather and a good luck hoseshoes on the tea towel...

An English hallmarked for 1959-1960 sterling silver coffee spoon with a Scottish Thistle enamel finial by Mappin & Webb, Birmingham...

And a Shelley, England crested souvenir jam jar made as a souvenir of  the Western coast of Scotland seaside town of Largs from the 1930s.

But what's for tea??? Scottish Shortbread, of course! Small problem...my shortbread pan is a Colonial Williamsburg reproduction I had been wanting to use, as I hadn't for ages...

and the recipe is  from the book and cookbook I have Afternoon Tea by Michael Smith from 1986, 

as I couldn't find my grandmother's one I usually make, but this is very similar!  I used a lonely Shelley Dainty Thistle saucer for a tea plate...and even with baking spray they didn't come out of the pan well...sigh...  The recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Robert Burns birthday is celebrated all over with Burns Night, where whiskey flows and haggis is eaten and generally both the poet and Scots ancestry is celebrated. 

 There are huge Scottish clubs and societies all over the world where this is celebrated, and everyone is asked to wear Tartan. An example of an invitation:

The evening will usually start with the singing or saying of what is called the Selkirk Grace, attributed to Robert Burns:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Ans sae let the Lord be thankit.

I have used a Victorian era handmade linen tablecloth made in the 1890s in England with a filet crocheted border with the Selkirk Grace in crochet... I hope you can see it, as it was hard to photograph...

It just fits my little tea table. I picked it up in England several years ago, and it is one of my treasures!

A traditional Burns supper...or party...or tea, has several essential ingredients. Basically those are "neeps and tatties" or turnips and potatoes, a "wee dram" of whiskey....which is where some of the all male celebrations get a bit rowdy, and last but not least, Scotland's national dish...haggis! Haggis is a sheep's intestines stuffed with...okay, you don't want to know. I tried it, and DIDN'T like it! 

Part of the dinner is the Address To The Haggis attributed to Robert Burns which is very long...I guess you need a few wee drams to appreciate it... after it is bagpiped into the room with much ceremony and toasting... Here is a sample:

Address to a Haggis

Fair and full is your honest, jolly face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer, 
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

Walnut Shortbread

The pastry is soft and must be handled with care.  I made mine in a food processor, my first, a gift from our daughter for Christmas...so much easier!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup finely crushed walnuts (I prefer Pecans actually)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
generous 1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered sugar)
2 small egg yolks..or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Sift the flour and crushed nuts together into a bowl.  Make a well in the center. Mix the softened butter to a paste with the sugar and egg yolks and place in the well.  Gradually draw the flour into the center and mix into the butter forming a soft dough. Roll out on a floured board approximately 1/8 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares, and transfer carefully to baking pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 16-20 shortbread biscuits. There are not too sweet, perfect with a cup of tea.

The Burns Night celebration evening is of course ended with Robert Burns famous song For Auld Lang Syne, preferably to the sound of bagpipes.  Much fun and good food is enjoyed. Sometimes even Burns teas are given, by those not overly fond of the whiskey...that would include me!

My friends and I thank you for joining me for tea! We are looking forward to a great week as the med side effect issues are improving for my Honey, and when he is doing well so am I! I will be joining:

Thanks so much for joining me for tea!  Here 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 I do read every one if I can find and can get to you to visit!  If you comment from Google+…it isn’t easy...so forgive me if I am not replying to comments you so kindly leave...I am trying!
Also...if I miss your comment or haven't replied, it's because my Honey is having a hard time and TLC is needed...but that will pass, Lord willing!


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