Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tea-cupa Story


The theme for the first week of Gracious Hospital-i-tea's Blog-a-thon is to tell the story of a favorite tea cup. I shared about my favorite thistle tea cup a few weeks back, but this is another favorite of mine.

I didn't grow up in a family that used tea cups. I don't think that we even owned a tea cup and saucer. We usually had the basics, but there was rarely money for extras. Sometimes I remember drinking some peppermint tea from a heavy mug. Sometimes grandma made some sun tea when the weather got hot, but other then that, there just wasn't much tea around.

When I read about tea parties and saw pictures of beautiful tea cups, I really longed to own one, but it was long after I graduated from college before I owned my first tea cup. This tea cup wasn't my first one, but it was my first beloved tea cup. When I saw it at an estate sale, I snatched it up quickly, and hoped they wouldn't charge too much because it was just what I wanted. It was similar to my dream of what the perfect English tea cup would look like, covered with flowers inside and out, including pink roses. I really was thrilled to own such a pretty cup. I just love that it is beautiful on the inside too. It reminds me of how God wants us to be, not only pretty on the outside, but pretty on the inside too, because He makes it so.


I was curious today if I might learn some more about this tea cup. The bottom the cup says it is made by Roslyn Fine Bone China, Made in England. The pattern is Black Velvet, number 8555. I don't know anything about the woman who once owned it. I'm guessing that because it is in such good condition, that it sat many years in a china closet, too pretty to use. I wondered if it might have been a gift from an English relative, or a souvenir from her world travels. I won't ever know the answers to these questions but I wondered if I might find out something about the company that made this tea cup.

I went searching on the web and learned that Roslyn Fine Bone China was made at Park Place Works, Longton, England from 1946 to 1963,. Previously the Roslyn company was called Reid and Co. and they made fine china from 1913 to 1946. I learned that my cup was made sometime between 1950 and 1955, when they put the name of the pattern in a banner. The pottery factory is now a museum. You can see some examples of other Roslyn works here.

When guests come for tea at my house, this is often the tea cup that I let them use, because maybe they too have never held a pretty English tea cup in their hands before. Maybe when they hold this pretty cup in their hands and share friendship they will know more clearly just how precious and beautiful they are to me and to God.

13 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Carrie said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful teacup and for the information you found about the teacup. Very nice post.

Storybook Woods said...

What a lovely story. I am sorry you were not able to know the joys of tea as a child but now can enjoy them. Clarice

La Tea Dah said...

Your teacup is beautiful, exquisite, perfect! I love roses on teacups and the black sets this off so well.

Thank you for sharing your teacup story and it's history. I liked learning your family 'tea' history. Although my mother had teacups (wedding gifts from her Canadian wedding to my father) they were always just displayed and not used to drink from. Instead we used mugs like you --- and yes, usually for peppermint tea.

Have you been to Mama Bugs blog yet? She has a tradition of 'homeschool teacups' that I think is very interesting --- something you might enjoy reading about.

Enjoy a lovely day!
LaTeaDah

Melissa's Cozy Teacup said...

I think it is so interesting to see people's reactions when you set a pretty table or bring out the 'good stuff'. We're so used to getting by or using the basics that when we are presented with something lovely, we are often stunned.

Aisling said...

Elizabeth Joy, What a gorgeous cup. I'm sure your guests feel special and a little pampered when you serve them tea in such a lovely cup. It's amazing how little tiny things like that make a difference in people's lives.

Gina E. said...

Another stunning cup and saucer set...this blogathon is fantastic! When I was a child in the 50's, Australia was still very "British" in everything, so most households used cups and saucers. I don't remember even having mugs in the house at all! I think they were considered too American, lol! Even though I have many mugs, I use my nice tea-sets when we have visitors.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Black Velvet is a beautiful name for your lovely teacup.

Until reading your post and how you researched your teacup, I didn't realize that it could be done. Can't wait to research mine!

Thank you for a great post.

ellen b said...

What a wonderful cup and I love your history and story that goes with it. Blessings...

Charli and me said...

What a beautiful post. Your tea cup is so pretty. I like how you share it with your guests.

MamaBugs said...

What a gorgeous teacup!!
When you have time stop by for a cuppa!
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaBugs/499463/

Minnesota Kathi said...

What a beautiful teacup and story! Thank you for sharing, I look forward to reading more of your stories.

topaztook said...

What a beautiful teacup and an "Antiques Roadshow" (one of my favorite shows) summation of its history. I didn't grow up with teacups, or with tea, except for sun tea, either. I'm making up for it now.

Bonita said...

Now THAT is a gorgeous teacup. I love the colors!