Category Archives: tea cups

Bone China Mugs for Tea

Lady Diana Rose Chintz Mug

C.S. Lewis said,

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

He might have liked a mug!

Check out this video for a preview of lovely Staffordshire bone china mugs available at Teapots ‘n More!

Visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of bone china mugsenglish bone china tea setsteapots & antique chintz tea cups.

Grimwade Brothers: Home of Royal Winton Chintz

One of the most successful chintz producing potteries, Grimwade Brothers, began in 1885 at the Winton Pottery, Stock-on-Trent when Leonard Grimwade invited his older brother Sidney to join his manufacture business.  Sidney was a potter, however, it appears that Leonard was the enterprising force behind the prosperity of Grimwade Brothers. He was described by business associates and employees alike as a man of vision, energy and generosity.

His company grew quickly receiving patents for a number of innovative products including the Paragon coffee pot with a removable strainer, a Safety Milk Bowl and a Quick-Cooker Bowl. Earthenware for the kitchen, toiletry, hospital, nursery and table was produced by the company. The chintz ware for which the company is well know may have been produced as early as 1913 in more traditional patterns such as Jacobean ware, Hampton chintz and Spode Chintz. These patterns were large and widely spaced.

Today, we generally associate chintz with smaller closely packed patterns. The first chintz of this nature produced by Grimwades was Paisley in 1923. However, the pottery’s first major success with a “modern” chintz pattern was the design Marguerite in 1928. This pattern is said to have been inspired by a design Mrs. Minnie Grimwade was working on a cushion at the time. The success of Marguerite was followed by numerous new chintz patterns during the next 20+ years. Some patterns remained proprietary to Grimwade such as Julia and Welbeck, while others were sold for use by other potteries such as Rose Du Barry.

Although Leonard Grimwade died unexpectedly in 1931, his company florished for many years. By the 1960s, due to a number of factors, the market for chintz had dropped off. The Grimwade company was sold to Howard Potteries in 1964 with the Royal Winton trade name kept intact. Various company buyouts proceeded over the years with the Royal Winton name still remaining. As far as we know, the latest company to trade as Royal Winton is still producing chintz ware. There are 12 patterns available with some of the most popular original chintz designs reintroduced in the 1990s.

Royal Winton chintz continues to be a favorite with collectors. Listed below are some excellent resources available for those who wish to explore the rich history of Royal Winton and English chintz ware.

This brief summary was gleaned from Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller, Francis Joseph Publications 1996 available on Amazon.

Book Resources:

Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller

Royal Winton Porcelain: Ceramics Fit for a King by Eileen Rose Busby

The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Chintz, 3rd Edition by Susan Scott

Chintz Ceramics by Jo Anne Welsh

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea sets, teapots & antique chintz tea cups.

The Wileman Shelley Pottery: A brief history

Shelley CountrySide Chintz

In a nod to all those wonderful & dedicated Shelley collectors, we’re starting off our history series on English Potteries with the Wileman Shelley works.

The Shelley pottery was prolific in producing a large variety of very fine patterns in fine bone china. As the Shelley Pottery, it operated from 1925 to the late 1960s. However, the pottery got its start under Henry Wileman. Around 1860, he was producing earthenware products at the Foley pottery in Staffordshire, England. He started a second pottery for the production of fine china which became the Shelley pottery.

The Shelley name comes from Joseph Shelley who joined the Wileman family as a salesperson. In 1870, Joseph became a partner with James Wileman, Henry’s son, in Wileman & Company. James ran the original earthenware pottery and Joseph focused on the fine china production. Joseph Shelley worked hard to produced the finest quality china and expand foreign export. His son, Percy, joined the business in 1881.

Example of Shelley Backstamp

Percy Shelley brought in top artists and litho designers thereby improving the appearance of the fine china wares. He was so successful that the reputation and demand for Shelley china grew both at home and abroad. Both Wileman and Shelley wares are still avidly collected today and the value of many patterns remains high.

Wileman Foley Demitasse Empire Shape

Upon the death of his father, Percy took full control of the pottery and ran the company for about 50 years. Around 1910, he became involved in a legal battle over the use of “Foley” in his backstamp which was the name of a pottery region. After losing, he renamed his manufacturing works Shelley around 1925. Thus the Shelley brand was born.

As is true of other major English chintz manufacturers, production and creativity was greatest from the 1920’s through the 1950’s with a brief drop in the years surrounding World War II. In 1966, the company was sold to Allied Potteries.

Wileman Shelley collectors have at least three collector’s clubs accessible online with a wealth of information on history, shapes, patterns and backstamps. For detailed histories & further research, please check out the following club sites as well as the reference books listed below and available on Amazon.

Example of Wileman Foley Backstamp

Online Club Sites:

Australasian Shelley Collector’s Club

The Shelley Group

National Shelley China Club

Book Resources:

Shelley Chintz: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pattern Books by Kelly Moran

Shelley China: Schiffer Book for Collectors by Tina Skinner

Shelley Tea Ware Patterns by Sheryl Burdess

More Shelley China: Schiffer Book for Collectors by Lee Jones & Russ Nicholas

My 4 Cup Teapot is 24 ounces?!?

Summertime Rose 2 Cup Teapot

We have a riddle for you: When is a one cup measure not 8 ounces?

Answer: When it’s measuring the volume of an English teapot!

No, really…it’s true. Okay, you’re not laughing. We have to admit it’s more confusing than funny.

For instance, you buy a 4 cup teapot for your Tea Set for Four. You expect it to be a 32 ounce teapot, 8 ounces times 4 cups. However, when it arrives it appears so small and you discover it is only 24 ounces. What gives?

Well, teapot manufacturers have a quirky measurement for teapots. It does actually make some sense and once you understand it, you’ll always know what to buy.

Summertime Rose 4 cup Teapot

The first thing to know is that manufacturers measure the volume of teapots to the rim. Of course, you won’t fill it that high, but this is quirky measurement #1.

Secondly, the cup measurement used is 6 ounces, not the standard 8 ounces. This is based on 6 ounces of tea per cup. Therefore, a 4 cup teapot will hold 24 ounces which should be enough for four tea cups. Now you see that “cup” refers to tea cups not standard measuring cups.

Remember that we don’t fill our teapots to the rim? Here’s where the measurements fall apart.

Summertime Rose 6 cup Teapot

Imagine you’re having guests for tea. Let’s say three guests. Maybe you fill your teapot with 20 ounces of water, about 2.5 standard cups. You pour for your guests and yourself, filling the tea cups about two-thirds full, 6 ounces.  So you’re pouring about 24 ounces of tea, but the teapot only made 20 ounces.  The teapot is too small!

Tip: We recommend at least a 6 cup teapot when serving four guests. A 6 cup teapot, which is 36 ounces to the rim, will brew about 32 ounces of tea in the real world.

And what about refills? Good question! The tip below is our tried and true solution for a quick second pot. It works as long as you’re using a good quality loose tea which is brewed loose in the teapot. Otherwise, you’ll need to pull the tea bags and start a new pot brewing.

Summertime Rose 8 cup Teapot

Tip: As soon as you’ve poured the first pot, refill with more hot water and pop on a tea cozy. You’ll get another steep out of your leaves and be set for refills by the time your guests are ready.

So, a small mystery is solved. We hope you’re entertained and helped, not royally confused!

Below are the teapot measurements in ounces for easy reference:

2-3 cup Teapot: 12-18 ounces (A Tea for One Teapot)

4 cup Teapot: 24 ounces (Think Tea for Two…or Three)

6 cup Teapot: 36 ounces (Perfect for a Tea Set for Four)

8 cup Teapot: 48 ounces (Hard to find, but good for a Tea Set for Six. Otherwise, we recommend you buy a second teapot.)

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Thoughts On Collecting Tea Cups

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cup & Saucer

This week, we acquired a lovely old estate tea cup for our vintage and antique collection. It is old porcelain with no mark and completely handpainted. A beauty! The only historical clue is an old sticker on the bottom of the saucer which says “Aunt Claire”…apparently the former owner. When I hold these old tea cups, particularly the ones with a little character, a romantic notion strikes me. What have they seen? What joys celebrated? What sorrows comforted? What frustrations soothed? What would they say if they could talk?

Collecting tea cups, or anything vintage, is always an adventure. Sometimes you’ll find a bit of history or a rare treasure. Other times, you’ll find a common piece that you really love. With tea cups, there are so many to choose from at flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, garage sales and online. In fact, the choice on ebay alone is staggering! So, how do you determine what to collect?

Satsuma Hand Painted Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

Some people collect tea cups made in specific regions such as England, Japan or Europe. Others collect specific manufactures such as Royal Winton, Lefton, Satsuma or Limoges. You can collect certain patterns or types such as Geisha Girl porcelain, Blue Willow, Royal Winton Julia Chintz, or Limoges hand painted designs.

However, most collectors choose tea cups they love. We believe this is the best way to collect and offer the following simple guidelines for your consideration.

1. First and most important, choose what you really love and will still enjoy 10-20 years from now.

Royal Winton Julia Chintz Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

2. Don’t collect for value or profit. Tea cups or anything vintage are like fine art. It will only be as valuable as the consumer demand for it. A tea cup purchased for little money may never be worth much except to you or it may someday be valuable to collectors. Conversely, a tea cup in high demand and highly priced may eventually lose value if the demand for it goes down. So again, whether vintage or new, buy what you love.

3. Finally, make memories with your collection. It’s easy with tea cups! Make sure you have tea parties with your collection: big, small or even just you. Celebrate joys, comfort sorrows, sooth frustrations, share your life and enjoy your tea cups. They won’t talk! 🙂

For information on Wileman Shelley China, visit our posting The Wileman Shelley Potteries: A Brief History.

We invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our current selection of vintage & antique tea cups as well as new bone china teapots, tea sets and other delights.

 

Tea Sets for the Next Generation

When I was young and engaged to be married, casual decor was in. You may remember rustic  furniture, earthenware dishes, browns, greens, rust colors and none of the fancy things our mothers had! My mom suggested I register for fine china, crystal glassware & silverware, but that was silly, I thought. When would I ever use all that fancy stuff?!

Fifteen years down the road, I was kicking myself for not listening to her when others would have purchased that beautiful finery just because they loved me. But, I was young and dumb.

Summertime Rose Bone China Tea Set

At 21, we know everything! By 35, hopefully, we’re beginning to discover how smart mom really is.  She knows the need will eventually arise for lovely things.  As our families grow up, we find ourselves in our mother’s place, hosting holidays and celebrating passages of life that make us want to set out the good china, crystal…and we finally understand!

With bone china,  high quality is an investment. Around here, we think Heirloom English Bone China is the finest, but we’ll save that subject for another post. Superior bone china will stand the test of time and, with care,  be available to the next generation.

English Pansy Bone China Tea Set

In the world of fine bone china tea sets, we’ve noticed that certain patterns seem to have a timeless appeal to them. At Teapots ‘n More, we call those lovely designs classics.

You may be comtemplating the purchase of a fine tea set for yourself, a daughter or perhaps a young bride.  We’d like to suggest the following classic patterns for your consideration. We hope you enjoy the happy job of choosing your pattern. Contact us if we can help!

Classic Bone China Tea Set Designs by Heirloom

Classic Bone China Tea Set Designs by Heirloom

Visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of english bone china tea sets, teapots, tea cups and tea cup trios and much more.