Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Chinese Tea Basket

On Friday my friend Katherine was in town from Augusta and we met for lunch at Holly Cottage Tea Room. She'd already told me she found something tea-ish for me at an estate sale back home, and she had a huge grin as she came walking up with this pretty basket in her hands. She informed me this was my birthday, Christmas, etc. present for a while, so I knew it must be something good!

Inside the basket? A beautiful Chinese teapot and two teacups!

The design of the lid is so pretty, and one I've never seen before. The whole set is in absolutely mint condition.

Katherine said she didn't know if I would even like this sort of thing, but I absolutely do! As I told her, a lot of Chinese teapots just aren't that pretty to me, but this one is just lovely and the set (and basket) are like nothing I've ever had before. And of course it's even more meaningful because it's a gift from a friend!

If you're like me, you "break your own rules" for teawares sometimes. I may prefer English bone china, but I've bought some Chinese and Japanese pieces before when they were pretty enough. This beautiful bow-bedecked basket of flowers is certainly more than "pretty enough" in my book!

I always look to see if the teapot has strainer holes, and this one does.

And I have no idea what these marks above the words "Made in China" say, but I will certainly have fun investigating -- and using -- my new gift!

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful! What a special gift.

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  2. Now THAT is a friend! (I'm afraid I might have purchased the sweet tea basket with every intention of giving it to my friend, but then . . . ) B-)

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  3. Your Chinese teapot and cups set is very pretty. I love the shape of the basket and the lining material too. This set is sure to add a special touch to your next pot of green tea.

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  4. Tea baskets just like this were once used (and maybe still are) at the posh Bel-Air Hotel in L.A. to welcome guests to their rooms upon arrival, with freshly-brewed tea and a little tray of scones. I read this when I came across a cookbook from the hotel which had a whole chapter on Afternoon Tea, and a photo of that very basket. I think they even sold them in their gift shop at the time! Years later, I found one just like yours--same basket lining-but with a blue and white china tea set. I grabbed it, and absolutely love it.I know you will enjoy yours too!

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  5. Great gift! If you didn't like it you could have sent it to me!

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  6. Wow...you sure have great friends! This is awesome!

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  7. I have seen baskets like this one in antique shops before, but this one is in gorgeous condition. What a special friend to give you this beautiful gift. I love it.

    The basket will also keep the tea warm, like a cozy. Enjoy

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  8. Hi Ms. Angela, it was a great pleasure for me to meet you with Ms. Maureen at my tearoom the other day! :) The characters above "Made in China" on this tea pot says "Jingdezhen, China" where this tea pot was made. Jingdezhen is known as the "Porcelain Capital" in China, because it has been producing quality pottery for 1700 years. People in China believe that the tea sets made in Jindezhen is the very best. Hope this information is helpful. By the way, may I ask if it's alright to link my website (jadestea.com) to your blog?

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  9. This is wonderful! I have a similar Chinese tea set, but my basket only holds the teapot. There are no niches for the cups, and unfortunately I broke one of them several years ago. What a lovely gift from a dear friend!

    Althea
    http://aquietteaspot.com

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  10. I just bought this exact set at the flea market today...a steal for $10...I'm pretty sure... does anyone know the value or when it was made?

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