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 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-s 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!

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Items added this Week at Antiques And Teacups

It's hot an smokey from Canadian wild fires around here...
not good for breathing...but I am certainly getting some items added to Antiques And Teacups, and here are a few of them...
For more info on any of them, click on the photos...

One of my favorite hand colored on transfer 1930s teacups by Salisbury, England

A Shelley, England Celendine teacup in the Lincoln shape...
love the sweet flowers...

Another sunny yellow for summer teacup...corset shaped Royal Grafton

Sweet little 1940s Royal Crown Bohemia, Czechoslovakia demiteasse cup and saucer

A wonderful Victorian era large photo album with celluloid and velvet cover and some photos

A wonderful Roy Kirkham large English bone china teapot in the pretty Alpine Strawberry design

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tuesday Cup Of Tea Hibernating

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...from a very smokey Pacific Northwest....

This is a map of the current smoke conditions from Canadian wildfires...and we are up there at the top of  Washingtom state in a red dot zone...designating very unhealthy air. So headaches and breathing problems, and told to stay indoors by our doctor...so a bit of an abbreviated tea time....

So tea was a small affair in the sunroom....

I used one of my English hand embroidered tablecloths...one I love, with a beautifully done wreath of flowers on linen from the 1930-1940s...

We have been unable to do a lot of things we would usually be doing due to the record heat coupled with the smoke, so I have been catching up on some reading. This is a fairly recent find at our monthly library sale... Better Homes And Gardens Cottage Style from 1998....

This is probably my favorite place so far...A Full Plate...decorating with plates...

My teacup...is a mug! A Dunoon, England mug in a pattern called Cottage Life designed by artist Richard Partis...

It has several vignettes of cottage life during the Victorian or Edwardian eras and is so sweet! The row of stone cottages on the front looks like several Cotswold villages we have stayed in as well!

And to drink...not hot tea today, but a favorite cold Vanilla Chai Green Tea drink from Bolthouse Farms.  It is made with soy milk, and Chai spices with green tea and is so addictive! It is difficult to find around here, and I was so happy to find it in a large 1 1/2 litre bottle at our Grocery Food Outlet. I came home with the only 2 they had...rats! Hope they have some this week...we will be making a secial trip to see...hoping...

And for a teatime treat...a flop!!! I got a recipe for a variation of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which we love, but with a middle layer of crushed pineapple. 
I am not posting the recipe, because we didn't like it. It made the texture sort of mushy, was bland, and we didn't even finish it...
oh well, into every kitchen, a few flops arrive....

It's my 70th birthday this week..I know, OLD!! Lol!
But don't know what we will be doing if anything with the heat and smoke...we are playing it by ear.

I do have one present coming...I love Dale Chihuly, the glass artist, and my daughter messaged me on Facebook that she is sending me this...isn't that sweet? A tote bag of the famous Persian glass ceiling...

This is a photo I took of the glass ceiling on a visit a year ago to the Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass, and I often post his work on my Facebook page.

So thanks for joining me for tea! 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!


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