Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting a handle on teacup collecting

There is always more to learn about tea and teawares, as I learned from one of the two new (and free, might I add) books about cups and saucers I got the other day. Do
you have a great independent bookstore in your town? We do. It's called Scott's Bookstore, and it's on the Courthouse Square here in Newnan, Ga. Shop here and you get a little pink card where they write down the price every time you buy a book. After your 10th book, the average price is deducted from your next purchase. I fill up several of these a year and my inner thrifter LOVES going back in to get my free item. Last week, I headed to the sale table and came across these two books half-price, so I got them both for free and still had $4 credit on my card for next time. How cool is that? So now I'm the lucky owner of "Collectible Cups & Saucers" Books One and Two by Jim and Susan Harran.

I enjoyed seeing photos of all the cups and saucers, of course, but I must say I have never given much thought at all to the variety of handles on the cups, as shown on this chart in Book Two. Would you believe they list 15 different shapes for handles? Rather like one of those amateur birdwatchers in the forest, I've been having fun trying to identify how many of these "species" I may have, with names such as Broken Loop, French Loop, Ring, Kicked Loop, Serpent, Coiled, Kidney, Wishbone. Do you know the names of your cups' handle shapes? I certainly didn't, but I'm learning.

This is the Angular shape.

This is the Broken Loop shape. If you have one of the classic Old Country Roses cups and saucers, it has this shape of handle as well.

This is the French Loop shape.

This is the Loop shape handle. I have far more of these than any other type.

This is the Ring shape.

This is the Square/French shape. I hope you recognized some of the shapes from your own collection as well!


  1. oooooh! I love these books! If I could only get 1, which do you recommend?

  2. It is so interesting to think that there are 15 different shaped handles on tea cups out there. Julie for Bigelow Tea

  3. This is so interesting. Thank you for such an informative post. (Carrie at Oak Rise Cottage recommended it to me.)

  4. Steph, I would get Book Two, because the books are about the same price but Book Two is considerably larger -- plus it has the neat charts!

  5. Wow. What a find those books are. I was thinking they would be perfect reference books for learning to draw different styles of tea cups!

  6. Lovely photos--I need to see things to understand.
    I have a question for you--a dear friend just gave me this tea cup. I have never seen a Royal Albert tea cup with the flowers painted on over top of the glaze like this:

    Do you think it was added later?

    It says "royalty" on the bottom.


  7. These books look very interesting. I didn't know there were so many types of handles, although I have probably used many of them without paying that much attention. Thanks for the photos.


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