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!

Friday, June 28, 2019

National Cream Tea Day... Second Date

There were 2 dates listed on my English daily planner calendars I have yearly for National Cream Tea Day...
June 8th and June 28th...
2 excuses to celebrate that wonderful (and probably lethal) concoction clotted cream, but we are celebrating it, not disparaging it...

An afternoon tea at Trellissick we had a couple of years ago... National Trust property, previously the home of Lord Copeland

By accepted definition, a cream tea should have clotted cream, but if not available Devonshire cream...not nearly the same, but... or in the US if you aren't able to find or make the real thing, whipped cream or a combo concoction with various substitutes makes due... but nothing beats the real thing, fresh made in Cornwall or Devon.

In the UK, you can find the actual clotted cream refrigerated, especially Roddas in many areas and big stores like Marks & Spencers, Waitrose, etc...which is pretty close to fresh. 

The Devon Cream Company... which you can sometimes find here in the US, is pretty good as well, but make sure if you try it that it is refrigerated, because it is perishable and the flavor changes if it is left out of the refrigerator.  
If it is just on a shelf... pass!
We used to stock it in our antique and tea items brick and mortar, and kept a jar as an example on a shelf that had been emptied and filled with tiny styrofoam pellets and a fridge below with the stock.

Photo with a jar from a past blog post, and our favorite Strawberry with Champagne jam to have with the cream...heaven!

And there are even cream teas served at sea... and done well!
On the Queen Mary 2 we have had it almost daily with freshly made clotted cream... but you would expect the British Cunard to do it well!

But even on other ships as well... 

So enjoy! It is something that never fades in appeal!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Victoriana pt 2 An Era I love

Hello! I hope it has been as lovely where you are... we have had warm and lovely spring weather, which we have really enjoyed.

With Queen Victoria's 200th birthday recently passed, I was thinking of the Victoriana I have... and enjoying thinking about the Victorian age... which officially spreads from the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1937 until her death in 1901... although it intruded a few tears beyond that until the Edwardian era... named for one of her sons who succeeded her.

I have always loved the era while being aware of it's drawbacks... and shared some things from my grandmother born during the reign of Queen Victoria. Here are a few more items of interest I hope...

The Victorian era included several different design trends due to her reign lasting for 64 years. Among these, I love art nouveau and another which partially overlapped that calle the Aesthetic Movement.
The designs were drawn for naturalitic and orientalism motifs, and often in collages or vignettes like this plate above by E. E Elsworth in the Lily And Fan pattern from 1878...

The great thing is that I can tell you the exact date this plate design was registered, because it has the Design Registry diamond or kite mark as it is called, or Rd. kite. There are charts of reference which decipher each of the letters to decode the type of item... ceramics/dinnerware, and the date codes of May 14, 1878.  In 1883, the diamond mark was replaced with just numbers.
So helpful forknowing when the design was registered!

Also a fun thing any Victorian would recognize is this sucrier or sugar box. Sugar was refined and packedinto and sold in cones, which were then cut into chunks... much larger than sugar cubes. As sugar becasme more refined, the sugar bowls got smaller. The above sucrier dates to the 1880s and is actually an American piece by Burroughs and Mountford which as Aesthetic design.

 They are used for a cookie jar or tea caddy nowadays, being so much bigger than a sugar bowl.

This is a superb little French 19th century Haviland, Limoges France demitasse cup and saucer... made in France during the Victorian era in England...

The design is a lovely blue floral with a gold hatching overlay and borders...it is exquisitely made...

This Haviland & Co. mark dates it to 1875-1885. Limoges is not the maker, but denotes the area of France, Limoges. It is like seeing things in England marked Staffordshire... that is not a pottery but a city full of potters... or was... more's the pity... There were actually several hundres potters in the Limoges area. Many signed with the maker or pottery name as well, but many only signed their wares Limoges which often confuses people.

And another of my favorite patterns, which was made in several different variations by many different potteries from the beginning end of the 18th century all the way through until the 1930s. The pattern is variously called Grandmother's, Chelsea, Chelsea Sprig, Chelsea Grape and others. Often the design had copper luster applied to the "sprigs" or applied blue design elements. You can see the relation to Wedgwood jasperware, but a different material and approach.

This set is by Addeleys who probably produced the pattern the longest and of the best quality. The mark dates it to the 1890s.
You cans see the delicacy of the porcelain, as the applied blue sprigs show through.

And lastly another Aesthetic Movement design of Poppies with a squares shape....

I tried for weeks to see if I could identify the impressed mark to find the maker, but it is just too obscurred. I have asked several specialists, and no one recognizes it and all have concluded it eas a small pottery working in Staffordshire in the 1880s... so that's all I can tell you.

Two different books about the Victorian era are favorites of mine for different reasons.
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew 

by Daniel Pool 
covers the pre Victorian Regency era when when Jane Austen lived into the Victorian era.
It covers phrases,  food, dress, traditions and everything of interest from an entertaining, lighthearted account.

The other book...
Life In Victorian England
by W. J. Reader is a more stark, documentary from a serious historical perspective, and is not for light reading.
It is eye opening if you have found yourself watching Victoria on PBS, and wishing you had lived during that period.
The facts are stark, unflinching, historically supported and documented.
It helps to understand why Charles Dickens was such a crusader for the poor.
It actually has parallels with our times... as people attempt to come to terms with new and unknown technology that changes an entire nation and causes change on all sides, for good and evil.

My grandmother, Emma Bridgewater nee Rice.
Here pictured at age 18 participating in country manor theatricals.
She was born in 1881 in Leicester, England.
Her life spanned Queen Victoria's Golden and Diamond Jubilees, the death of Victori in 1901, World War I, immigrating to the US with her new husband...the space age, the internet and many things until her death at 99.

And I am so grateful for her remembrances and treasures of the Victorian age she shared with and left to me.
Her birthday is June 21st, and I remember her fondly every year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Wedgwood Lugano Tea Time For June Nature Notes Iris

I t is the middle of June already! How did that happen????

Our first Iris has bloomed... it will be mid 70s today, so summer is here!
The Iris reminded me of a June page in Edith Holden's Nature Notes of An Edwardian Lady...

Another book I enjoy monthly...

But the teatime today is a black and white one...

I have always liked this pattern... Lugano by Wedgwood, England from the 1960s... the following is the coffee pt, but they are being used as tall teapots...

I had teacups in this pattern in 2016, but they sold out. Then a few months ago I acquired a whole set to my joy!

This version was made as a more modern take of an earlier Wedgwood version from the 19th century. This 1960s version is in creamware... or Queens Ware as Wedgwood calls their version of creamware... and features a wonderful Italian landscape design based on Lake Lugano in Italy.
Love the shape of the teapot and cream and sugar, which are shapes Wedgwood has been using since the 18th century.

I do love the shapes! And black and white is so versatile! And being from the 1960s, made in England.

Defintely something to go with anything, or dress up and down.

For more info on any of the pieces at Antiques And Teacups just click on the photos.
Thanks for visiting!

And wishing you a Happy Flag Day on June 14th!

Friday, June 7, 2019

UK National Cream Tea Day and Royal Albert Winsome, Blueberry Dutch Baby

A wonderful and busy week for us this week. Our daughter and son-in-law were here from out of state again looking for property.
They left Friday, hopefully to return for the summer in the next month...so excited!

And, June 8th is National Cream Tea Day in the UK.... according to some sources, or June 28th to others... and the whole month is Cream Tea Month....

This strawberry cream tea is from Burleigh, UK advertising their limited edition Black Willow. Burleigh is famous for it's Blue Calico pattern... not sure about the Black Willow though, as I love the Blue Willow.

If you wonder what a cream tea is... just think scones, jam and ideally clotted cream. The above photo is from Cornish clotted cream producer Rodda... one of the best you can get commercially in the UK... almost as good as in the Devon and Cornish tea shops and farmhouses offering afternoon tea. The photo also includes Tiptree Strawberry jam... another English staple. Tiptree is purported to be Queen Elizabeth's favorite jam maker...

There is a controversy between Devon and Cornwall as to which goes on first... the jam or the cream. As both are equally delicious, I am not bothered....

And I didn't make scones a cream when the kids were here... too much gallivanting around and spending time together in their trailer at a nearby stsate park. But to cheer us up after they had left... I made our favorite Blueberry Dutch Baby dessert with the biggest organic Blueberries we have had! 

And used the Royal Albert Winsome pattern china, which is a new acquisition...

Love the floral bands of pink Roses and blue Forget-Me-Nots...

This pretty pattern was made from 1966 to 1997, but this is the older mark which dates to 1966-1970s. 
Love it!

I used a Royal Winton, England Golden Age cream, sugar and tray set. I love this pattern... and it doesn't stay around long!

And, of course, I used one of my Royal Albert Old Country Roses plates for our 2 pieces of my Blueberry Dutch Baby...

The Blueberries are huge! This is a handful on a full sized saucer...
some are almost as big as a quarter! And they are delicious!

The recipe, a family favorite, calls for it to be made in a frying pan... but I have always used an old Pyrex 9.75 inch deep dish pie plate....

Blueberry Yorkshire Pudding Dessert

1/2 cup flour...I use either unbleached or our local organic white Wheat
1/2 cup milk...only almond milk in this kitchen
2 large eggs
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1/2 cup blueberries, either fresh or frozen...any fruit can be substituted
juice from a lemon
powdered sugar
maple syrup if desired...we use organic pure

Preheat oven to 425 degrees or 400 if convection with rack in lowest position. 
Beat flour, milk, eggs, salt, sugar and nutmeg, which may be a bit lumpy. Let sit and rest while you prepare pan.

The original calls for a cast iron skillet, but I have never used one...instead using a 9.5 inch Pyrex pie plate I got in 1974 as a wedding present.

Place butter in pan in oven until melted, then remove, pour in the batter and distribute the berries. Return pan to oven and bake until puffy and golden, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, powdered sugar and eat warm with maple syrup, if desired. Serves 4...although we have been known to finish it in one go...blush...blush!

Well, enjoy your cream tea whatever way you choose!


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