People who have read some articles on this blog about Shelley, Wedgwood, Sadler, Byrd Pottery, Louisville Stoneware, Poplar Ridge, Hemisphere, Amsterdam, and other teapots, teacups, etc., have asked about how to value their pieces and how to find replacements. While valuing pieces is a very tricky business and best handled by those devoted to it, replacements are another matter.
Why would you even need replacements? Whether you collect teawares or not, you may have one or two items around the house — a Sadler teapot or a set of Wedgwood dishes or any of a number of other brand name pieces in a variety of patterns — that, sooner or later, you’ll want to replace. Chips, cracks, and breakage are the main culprits, or you may even want to expand your collection. Whatever the reason, you may need help finding those replacements or extra pieces.
Collecting is tricky business. You have to have quite a bit of knowledge of the item you’re collecting and how to tell the real from the fake. An item being old is no guarantee, either. For example, Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the Wedgwood company in 1759, was constantly vigilant about protecting his patterns and designs from imitators, who abounded even then. Fake Gucci handbags are everywhere today. You get the idea.
So you go to all this trouble to seek and find the best items for your collection, you’ve done your homework and feel certain the items your are buying are genuine, you wheel and deal your best on the price, and you eagerly set your newest find up on proper display when you get it home (or when the shipment arrives).
But accidents happen.
Older bone china teacups have been known to crack when you pour piping hot tea into them — one reason I always add in the milk first. Sadly, the teacup has to be set aside and banned from further use, but you really like the pattern and miss it.
Imagine serving tea from that Sadler teapot (who could resist?), and having it slip from your hand to the table. The spout cracks off. Not good for pouring. What to do now? Well, you could glue the spout back on and hope for the best next time you try to pour. You could glue the spout on and then relegate the teapot to a shelf — and then have your basic standby teapot to pour from. Or you can purchase a replacement.
In case you go the replacement route, check out Replacements.com as one source. You can find hundreds of manufacturers and over 370,000 patterns to fill in the gaps in your collection created by those “Oops!” moments or that are not available elsewhere.
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