It's my husband's fault. If he hadn't given me an eBay gift card for our anniversary earlier this month, I wouldn't have felt compelled to look for a "nice" eBay item to purchase, and I wouldn't have finally given in to a longtime desire to collect pieces of Tea Room pattern depression glass.
Oh well, the fun begins! I suppose it was inevitable, really. As soon as I knew this pattern existed, I was intrigued. When I opened the quick-to-arrive gift, my enabler immediately said he liked the Art Deco styling. He's exactly right on the period, of course, for the Tea Room pattern was made by Indiana Glass from 1926 to 1931.
There is so much I need to learn about this glassware. So far, what I've learned is this: Pieces were made in pink, green, clear and amber, and it appears the clear and amber are rarer (and not as pretty, in my opinion). These pieces were made to be used in soda shops and tea rooms. On one web site I read that production included pieces for a full dinner service, but another site said no, there were no dinner plates made in this pattern. (And would soda shops and tea rooms have had a need for dinner plates?) Time -- and research -- will tell which of these theories is true.
Because of the Art Deco styling, all those little lines leading to pointed edges, it is said to be hard to find Tea Room pieces in good condition (mine were!), and I can certainly see why. With so many corners and edges facing out, it's easy to see how the damage occurred.
In looking at pieces on eBay, I also learned that Tea Room pattern pieces can be six-sided or eight-sided, like this eight-sided sugar bowl shown from overhead. Researching my new pattern is fun, but I am also enjoying imagining my new sugar and creamer enjoying life in the '20s or '30s, picturing the tea room proprietress who served customers with these, or the lunching ladies whose conversations passed right over these very pieces of glass. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who ponders The Secret Life of Teawares!) And if any of you happen to collect this pattern, I'd sure love to know more!