I was asked yesterday if I always get gifts for my husband's birthday, and the answer, alas, is no, but it's never too late to start a new tradition! Happily, that flea market wasn't the only source of a good find. We also stopped by Angel's Antiques in Opelika, Ala. on our way home, and there I picked up a pink sugar and creamer in my beloved Tea Room Depression glass pattern.
I've pretty much memorized the "book prices" for Tea Room pieces, so when I saw $20 on the sugar bowl I thought oh, that's the book price, no bargain there. But then I realized it was $20 for the set, and then I realized these items were in Larry's booth, and Larry was offering 25 percent off everything in his booth. Here the smaller set is pictured in front of the larger set I already had, and you can see the designs up top are a bit different.
It's interesting to me that the handles have different shapes on these two sugar bowls. The smaller one at front has a more rounded interior, while the larger one at back is clearly rectangular. This smaller sugar and creamer set has a matching tray I'll now be looking for, and whether I ever find it or not, $15 was a great price for the set, which is in flawless condition. In their "Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass," Cathy and Gene Florence say, "We're certain that pieces pulled from moulds were marred at that moment. It was an inherent flaw in the design and manufacturing process. We've told you previously about examining factory boxed Tea Room where over 25% was not in mint condition when closely examined."
The spouts on these two creamers also sport different shapes, and I love to imagine tea room customers using them to add milk to their coffee or tea. The Florence book notes, "As the name insinuates, the very Deco styled Tea Room pattern was marketed for use in the tea rooms and ice cream parlors of that day which justifies the many fountain items occurring that are not seen in other patterns." I really hope I find that tray one day, because I can just picture the sugar, creamer and tray on a tea room customer's table. And for my fellow collectors, I should mention that while I'm partial to pink, the Florence Depression glass book says green Tea Room pieces are actually more desirable than the pink ones. My friend Phyllis recently wrote about finding a gorgeous green Tea Room sugar and creamer here, and I was so happy to hear that more Tea Room pieces have been rescued by those of us who prize them!