Cups and saucers make wonderful collectibles for any tea lover. They are easily found at antique stores, flea markets, estate sales and online. There is a large price range (budget to exorbitant) and a variety of styles and colors, which means something for everyone. There is nothing lovelier than a grouping of pretty cups on display in a china cabinet, or set out ready and waiting for afternoon tea. A collection can be eclectic or have a theme, such as roses, gilding, pink, tartan, etc.
You can decide to collect pieces from a certain manufacturer like Royal Doulton, Spode, Limoges or Wedgwood. Perhaps your collection will focus on where the cups originated. I like pretty bone china that was made in England, but you may like Czech, Bavaria, France, Occupied Japan and other sources.
Learning the history of cups and saucers, the differences in bowl shapes (Pompadour, can, swirled), types of handles (ring, loop,curled), and other features can really add to the enjoyment of building your collection. For example, did you know that the first European teacups didn’t have any handles?
Another fun aspect for collectors is meeting so many others who share your passion. You can find many people online who have blogs and like to share photos of their prized cups and saucers. One site that I highly recommend is Teacup Tuesday with hostesses Terri and Martha who have both amassed amazingly beautiful collections.
Finally, a word of caution about starting your own teacup collection. It can grow very quickly and planning some storage strategy is a must. My mother-in-law has a very large collection and it fascinated me to see the way she would nest four cups on their sides, so they would fit on a single saucer. This would not be recommended for very old and delicate cups, or those that are quite rare, but it helped her store much more in her china cabinet.
I’ve also seen some wonderful wooden wall display units specially made for displaying cups and saucers. There are also many pretty wire teacup holders used for display on table tops, sideboards and end tables.
So have fun building your collection and be sure to use those pretty cups at your next afternoon tea, or just for your own special tea for me time.
Don’t forget to check out the parTEA lady’s blog, Tea and Talk!
[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.