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, May 18, 2020

The Joy Of My Garden Flowers, Shelley Dainty Shape and Shortbread For Teatime

I hope you are doing well in this new era of changing life, social distancing and isolating...

I am grateful for the beautiful plants in our very small garden... at least... when the pollen isn't too bad, I can enjoy them... like the Lilac bush...

And inside, I can enjoy a garden in my hands in the form of a lovely teacup... and Shelley has always been my favorite. The above is a pattern I haven't pinned down the name for...
Dainty shape is the favorite Shelley shape of a lot of folks...
The Dainty shape was first used by Shelley in 1896, and was in continuous production until the pottery closed in 1966.

Rhododendrons are blooming in the garden, and lots of flowers are always present in Shelley teacups...

This is the Begonia pattern, made throughout Shelley's history...

This is the Celandine pattern. Shelley used most of the patterns on several of their shapes, so it is found, as most of their patterns are, on several different shapes, which is fun... some Shelley collectors go for collections of shapes, some for collections of patterns...

One of Shelley's most popular patterns over the years was the Rosebud chintz, which was most popular in the Dainty shape, although also used on other shapes...

Syringa is a pattern that was only used between 1960-1966, in the latter years of the pottery...

My favorite groundcover, blue flowered Lithodora by my Japanese Maple

The Violets pattern is not so easily located. Love the lavender trim...

Blue Rock pattern was especially successful for Shelley in the 1950s...

And it is fun to find various pieces of the tea and dinner service, like the tennis, buffet, tea and toast set above...
the pattern was made in several shapes...

More of my Rhododendrons.....

The Dainty Primrose pattern...

Shelley Dainty Rose Spray... which was also marked as Bridal Rose with some design releases...

Shelley Rose and Red Daisy... another popular pattern, especially in the 1950s.

I have always been surprised that the Shelley chintz patterns were never popular on the Dainty shape, and so with a marketing decision, they weren't made often.

And a tray with Dainty Rosebud, Dainty Blue, Dainty Shamrock, Dainty Polka Dot... and a green and gold Snow Crystals I have been looking for a saucer for for 10 years!
This is just a smattering of patterns on the Dainty shape I happen to have on hand at the moment, but there are many, many more!

While I was looking for a Shortbread recipe to share, I found this Afternoon Tea book by Michael Smith from 1986 that I had lost in the back of my tea recipe bookshelf. There is a Walnut Shortbread recipe which is very good and easy I'd like to share....

The pastry is soft and must be handled with care.  It can be made in a food processor, although I didn't this time, using the all-in-one method. 

Walnut (or Pecan) Shortbread

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.
Definitely an go-to oft repeated recipe.

On another recipe. I found a suggestion for making it Chai Shortbread... which I have also made...

Chai Spice Tea Shortbread

2 tablespoons loose chai tea, or from approximately 6 tea bags.
Pulse together the tea with the flour and sugar in a food processor just until the tea is in small pieces and evenly distributed thoughout the flour.
Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tsp of water.
Continue as instructed above.

That certainly seems simple and doable enough, and fun to have options!


  1. Ohhh Ruth...Those teacups made me swoon,so beautiful!Gorgeous lilacs and garden flowers too.Blessings!

  2. I always enjoy seeing your collection of pretty Shelley teacups. I have two Shelley teacups, but not in the Dainty shape.

  3. I love the shape of those cups! What an absolute gorgeous flower garden on tea cups you have. I used to love Pecan Sandies, Lorna Doone and Salerno butter cookies because they almost melted in your mouth. I've been so disappointed for years-is it me or did they all change the formula? Actually the Pecan Sandies also seems under baked anymore. I may have to try the pecan version above. Thanks

  4. Funny, I absolutely have always loved the dainty Shelley very much - and the name my family uses for me is Shelly so I loved that too - but it seems whenever I find one or a few, I hold onto them and then sell them. So of all - and there are many - teacups I have, I don't have a single Shelley. I need to change that, don't I? Your are so pretty - and thanks for the recipes. Pecan shortbread is my all-time favorite tea sweet. I have been craving it - but have been trying hard not to make sweets because I will eat it all!!!! Not good in a quarantine, haha.

    Take care. Stay safe and healthy.

  5. Beautiful!! Love the blue polka dot one!

  6. I am going to make the shortbread, it looks so good


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