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!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Burliegh At Middleport Pottery

Hi and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...this week featuring a current English maker...Burleigh.

In 2011  Prince Charles was in Stoke-on-Trent for the first phase of the regeneration of Middleport Pottery, the only remaining Victorian working pottery in England. Hours before the pottery was to close forever, the Prince's Regeneration Trust stepped in to save the business and indeed the history of pottery in England. Middleport Pottery is home to Burleigh, which is still all hand made in England. Among the famous patterns they make is invariably the most popular of the patterns I post on my Facebook page...

This their Blue Calico pattern...

My personal favorite...well, maybe co favorite with one of the longest produced patterns in English history Asiatic Pheasants that has been being made by someone in England since 1750. It comes in several different colors, but we just have pink at the moment...love this teacup trio!

Here are 2 other patterns currently being made by Burleigh at the Middleport Pottery...Rosie's Hens and Victorian Chintz.

Burleigh is a name derived from the original pottery founders Burgess & Leigh who founded the pottery in 1888. The building is being repaired and the working pottery will be open as a museum and tour to watch the process of china being made.

Now restored and functioning as a pottery as well as a learning center and local vendor shops, it has a wonderful museum as well as a fabulous factory shop...

The factory shop is again filled with treasures!

They also have a tea room called Totally Delicious and give tours. The pottery has been featured on a BBC program called The Great Pottery Showdown, but we haven't gotten it here in our area yet...

Photo from the Good Homes magazine show in London a few years ago...and the photo below is at the factory shop...heaven!!!

To read more about Burleigh, the process and what they sell, click on this link:

For more info on the Prince's Regeneration Trust and their plans for Middleport Pottery, click on this link:

I am so happy that Prince Charles is spearheading this project. Prince Charles has been in the forefront of preserving many of England's historic treasures.

Thanks to my blogging frirnd at Parsimonious Perfections I can add that there is now a collaboration bretween Ralph Lauren and Burleigh...well deserved!
You can read the article here:
Burleigh and Ralph Lauren

Thanks for joining me for tea today and a tour of one of our favorite potteries to visit.... I am joining...

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Art Deco Teatime Thousand Faces Cake

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! 
I trust you are having a lovely week.  We have had a bit of rain, marine mist and the air is a bit cleaner so I am a happy camper!

I have been so busy with visitors and a slightly and literally under the weather husband, that a tea respite was just what we needed!

I set up my butler's tray table in the sunroom, and used another of my vintage hand made English tray cloths...this one has a very art deco design in cross stitch and is from the 1930s...

Then I stacked a few of the books I have been rereading...because they have wonderful art deco desigs. The books are by Ellis Peters...have you read or seen the Brother Cadfael medeavel mysteries?  Well, these are by the same wuthor but set in the 1930-1960s. Wonderful!

I have an art deco hand colored on transferware teacup to go with these....

The pattern is  a wonderful grey transfer hand colored with pink and purple
flowers and green leaves. And the plate is a wonderful art deco square shape...

The bone china teacup and plate were made by Royal Stafford, England in Longton near Stoke-on-trent which is a trade name of Thomas Poole. The set was actually made in the early 1950s, but is a remake of an earlier Thomas Poole Gladstone China version from the 1930s. I LOVE hand colored on transferware pieces....

Royal Stafford was made until 1992 when it closed during the horrid English china disintegrations. But...the name was revived in 2004 under Royal Overhouse leadership and aim. The company no longer does bone china, but it is producing English made cream ware...a kind of earthenware, in the old Burselm pottery, so that is good!
You can visit their website at:
Royal Stafford

I added my 1924 Lipton Tea brass tea caddy to the table because of the art deco styling...

The brass tea caddy was made to be sold at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition in London, at which Lipton Tea was an exhibitor...
The Exhibit highlighted British commerce, colonial ties and was a showcase of all things British....

I just love this stylized art deco Lion logo...it has Lipton on the bottom

And for tea...we have an English Breakfast blend I picked up recently at a Pop Up For Teas Sake cart at...or local Co-op hardware & garden store! Amazing...but of course I had to try it!

It's called Let's Do Breakfast...cute!
and it's quite a nice loose black tea blend.

I put the loose tea in a little teabag caddy so you can see it....nice!

And to diffuse it in your cup, a silver plated single cup diffuser with an unusual plunger mechanism...I love tea gadgets!

And for our treat for tea today... a fresh peach tart...I had some peaches to use up, and decided heat or not I was baking!

The recipe is titled The Cake With A Thousand Faces, and was originally from the May 1997 issue of Sunset Magazine...a Palo Alto, California publication that is still going.  Do you still have recipes like this in a folder you have saved? I do! Lots! 
I have used it a lot...it is do versatile!!! Any kind of fruit and always delicious!

The Cake With A Thousand Faces
About 10 minutes prep time to mix, 1 hour to bake

About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter cut into chumks
about 1 cup all purpose flour
about 1 cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1-2 cups fruit (I used fresh sliced peaches)
1 tsp vanilla or other flavoring if desired
1 tbs powdered sugar for garnish

1.  Butter and dust with flour a 9 inch cake pan with removeable bottom. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter chunks.  Slowly beat with a mixer to blend, then beat on high speed until well mixed, about 3 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, vanilla if using and eggs. Stir to combine, then beat on high speed until the batter is well blended and stiff, about 2 minutes.
4. Scrape batter into cake pan and spread top smooth.
5. arrange fruit on the top of the batter. Sprinkle with 1 tbs granulated sugar.
6. Bake on the center rack of a 350 degree oven just until the cake begins to pull away from the pan rim, about 55-60 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife between the cake and the pan. Let cool at least 10 minutes or, if  making ahead, wrap the cake airtight when cool and let stand at room temerature up to 1 day.
7. Remove pan rim, dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges.

Thanks so much for joining me for tea! Needless to say, the cake didn't last long! I will be joining:

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Blue Willow History and Earl Grey Cookies For Tea

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! This is a compilation post of odds and ends from a week of visits and things surrounding my birthday...all fun, but a bit of a whirlwind, with another full week coming up...last ditch of summer for a lot of folks, and for us a break finally from smoke as we have finally had a bit of rain clearing the air a bit...WooHoo!  So we have come out of hibernating with a vengeance! Lol!

I found this tea themed poem from the writer T S Eliot recently as I was browsing Sandy Clough's book The Art Of Tea And Friendship while having a scone and afternoon tea in our sunroom with my Honey:

The naming of teas is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your everyday games--
Some might think you are mad as a hatter
Should you tell them each goes by several names.
For starters each tea in this world must belong
To the families of Black or Green or Oolong;
Then look more closely at these family trees--
Some include Indians along with Chinese.
T S Eliot
from The Art Of Tea And Friendship by Sandy Clough, pg 27

Very fun!

For my teacup (s) this week, I am sharing a perennial favorite today...various versions of the Willow pattern. Willow has always been popular and therefore was frequently made by various potters. Because of it's long life as a pattern and relative abundance of pieces, it is often overlooked as an important part of pottery design.  

It is fun to compare the elements of the design. Some of these teacups are from the archives at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos.

This Willow teacup is by Woods and Sons, England in the line called Woods Ware in ironstone. The Woods are part of a famous potting family from Staffordshire, England with a long history back to 1865.
It is in the most popular colorway, blue, and many names of the variations call this version Blue Willow.

The history of the pattern, Willow and all of  it's many variations goes much farther back...actually the 1770s.  
Blue Willow comes from a Chinese legend of 2 lovers, forbidden to marry who elope and are chased by the emperor. At the end, the boy is killed defending his fiance and the girl commits suicide. Sigh...not too cheerful.  
The elements that usually turn up are: of course, the Willow tree, the bridge the lovers crossed to elude pursuers...often with the lovers or with 3 people being variously the lovers and a helper or the lovers and the emperor...
a house they took refuge in and, of course,  always includes 2 birds, doves flying together representing the 2 lovers which has become a symbol of undying love.

This is a Royal Grafton, England version from the 1940s in bone china.

There are even versions in red, yellow and green, although the blue is the most popular....

This is a red, unmarked early 1920s version in red...

Wedgwood made this Yellow Willow pattern in the 1920s as well...

And Masons, England made this Green Willow version in the 1920-1930s...

And this, a very thin porcelain version from Occupied Japan which dates it from 1945-1954.

And lastly, a 1950s version by Royal Wessex, England in a more modern mid century ironstone version...

So...long live Willow, and may there be many more versions to come to extend a wonderful history!

Our PBS station, KCTS9 in Seattle is hosted some of the cast of Downton Abbey in August 2011, to drum up interest for series 2. The actors attending were those that played Lady Mary, Cora, Countess Grantham and Matthew. As part of the promotion, they cooked up an Earl Greay Tea Cookie that was posted in our program guide.
I have made them several times, and posted them once before in 2011....

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Program: KCTS 9 Cooks
Presented by: Paula Nemzek, KCTS 9 Cooks
Cook's Note: Try these delectable slice-and-bake cookies with your own favorite blend of tea. Delicious! We created these sophisticated cookies in honor of our August 2 event with Downton Abbey Cast members. We think Cora, Countess of Grantham, would approve!
makes 18 to 24 cookies
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves, crushed, or 1 1/2 tablespoons from tea bags (about 5 bags)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, tea and salt. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and stir together. Add remaining flour mixture and mix together until just combined.
Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a firm log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Seal with plastic, twisting both ends tightly, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
Slice the cookies into 1/3-inch thick rounds and place on the parchment at least 2 inches apart. Bake about 14 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. These are best served freshly baked.
The comments by the chef also said that they pack a buzz so use decaf if that would be a problem. Several of my friends have made them experimenting with other blends of tea including matcha or licorice spice and basically say any tea is great.

Thanks so much for joining me for tea today!
I am HOPING to join these blog memes this week, but....

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!


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