Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anteaques Roadshow

On most of the tea blogs I read, I can't help noticing that many of us seem to prefer the English style of teawares, including lots of lovely floral cups and saucers. Pink and pastels are there in abundance, and it's not that often I'll see something of a more Asian design. And that's perfectly fine with me because I think the floral pieces are just plain prettier. That said, I wanted to share an unusual blue and white cup and saucer set a friend gave me a few years ago that I truly treasure, because its design seems just the thing for tea drinking during the opening week of the Beijing Olympics.

When I started exploring the world of teawares, I was surprised to learn that the earliest cups had no handles on them. I found that so odd, but in years since I have seen plenty of photos of early tea sets, and even some modern ones, for that matter, and am now accustomed to seeing the handle-less cups. I learned that some early tea drinkers would also slurp tea out of the saucer itself, which may explain the "handle" type piece on this saucer. Perhaps this represents an early, pre-handle-design effort to keep that hot tea from burning the tea drinker's hand?

I still don't know much about this set, which is unmarked, and I've yet to see another set like it, although I did see a similar single cup for sale on eBay a few years ago. The cup is in mint condition, and except for some crazing (which I'm crazy about), so is the saucer. And the unusual napkins so sweetly embroidered with blue tea bowls? These were a surprise gift from blogger Suzanne at Pink Roses when I won her bird's nest giveaway during the spring. Perfect give for a tea lover, don't you think?


  1. That is an unusual cup and saucer -very pretty. I love blue and white teawares. Somehow my Dragon Eye Oolong tastes better when sipped from this type of cup. Your embroidered linens are also lovely.

    I'm happy that you were able to try Bubble Tea and enjoyed it. I really like it too, especially combined with a Vietnamese noodle bowl for lunch. I enjoyed my boba from one of the Lollicup stores.

  2. Beautiful cup. Like Partea Lady, Asian tea(s) always seem to taste better in a handleless cup. It's where they belong.

  3. I must be a groupie! On Friday, I jumped on ebay and bought an Olympic teapot pin. It arrived yesterday (wow!) and I am wearing it today. Now I read today's blog and I feel my day could not be complete without drinking my tea from a cup without a handle. Truth be told, I have been looking for an inexpensive one that I liked but I do prefer the cups with more flowers etc. Either way, I really should stop reading your blog... too many great ideas and stuff I want!!! But as my husband said when he saw my teapot pin last night, " In for a penny, in for a pound!" He just shakes his head and smiles!
    Thanks for making me smile daily!

  4. Lollicup stores? Hmmm. Must check this out. (I *love* the name!) Denise, I've never really thought of pairing teas with teawares from the country of origin, but I like your comment about "it's where they belong." Gerri, I don't think you're a groupie, but your post sure made me smile! And I remember my Olympic pin arrived super quick as well. Neat!

  5. Angela, I not only pair the type of teacup with the tea's place of origin, I also like to "match" the music I may be listening to during teatime. Years ago, when my children were all at home, they knew we were having spaghetti for supper when they heard me playing my Italian opera CD's!! :-)

  6. This is a beautiful Asian tea cup set. I had to laugh with Gerri's post because I ordered the teapot pin from Ebay and mine shipped today. Angela, you post way too many neat tea things for this out-of-control tealover! *smile*


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