My Vintage Teacup Collection
Glimpse Into My China Cabinet
My vintage teacup collection is far too beautiful to keep to myself. I want to share them with everyone and provide as much information on the teacups as possible; their place of origin, manufacturer, etc. Even if you are not a collector yourself, the vintage cups are very pretty, and the pictures are enjoyable.
Most of these teacups were inherited from my mother and date back to at least the 1970s. She would serve coffee in them. She never had the accompanying cake plates, so she used a clear yellow Jubilee depression glass plate with them.
Collecting different teacups is fairly inexpensive. A big selection of vintage ones may be found on eBay, RubyLane, and other internet sites. Many are in the $20 to $30 range. Older, very ornate, or scarce ones may be more pricey. Keep looking. You many even find teacups and saucers at local tag sales. You could also purchase cup and saucer sets and start a collection that will some day be vintage.
I have photographed the pottery marks and have them in a separate module below.
Why don't you grab a cup of tea, sit back, and scroll through my collection?
Meadowsweet Teacup and Saucer—Duchess
Established in 1888, by A.T. Finney and Sons, Duchess is a name they used on some of their porcelain. It's made in Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom. See the photo gallery in this article for the pottery mark.
The cup is 2-3/4 inches high and 3-3/8 inches in diameter. The saucer is 5-1/2 inches in diameter.
Wedgwood England also makes a popular pattern called "Meadow Sweet." The spelling is different, and the design is very different. Whereas the Duchess pattern is delicate flowers on a mostly white background, the Wedgwood pattern is more densely painted with modern, stylized flowers.
Mikasa, Crown Ducal, and Epoch make lesser know "Meadow Sweet" patterns.
Victorian Violets Teacup and Saucer—Hammersley—A Member of the Spode Group
Victorian Violets is a discontinued pattern. This teacup dates back to at least the 1970s when it was purchased.
In the Victorian era, violets and pansies were a very popular decoration for china.
Hammersley and Co. began in 1862 as a china manufacturer at Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. It went through several name changes, was purchased by Carborundum Ltd. in 1966, merged with Royal Worcester Spode Ltd. in 1976, and was then taken over by Palissy Pottery Ltd., which closed Hammersley's Works in 1982. From 1982 Palissy and Hammersley production was merged, until its final demise in 1988. The Hammersley name was sold to Aynsley in 1989
An Interesting Comparison of Violet Patterns on Saucers—Hammersley vs. Rossetti
I only have a saucer for the Rossetti Spring Violets pattern.
I include it here so you can see how similar it is to the Hammersley Victorian Violets pattern.
Hammersley is on your left; Rossetti is on your right.
Both are discontinued patterns.
Do Not Hang Your Teacups Up
Never, ever, store your fine china cups by hanging them by their handle on a hook or peg.
The weight of the cup, pulling on the handle weakens the handle.
If you look closely at any cup, you will see that the handle is a separate piece. The two places where the handle is attached are weak points.
White Bouquet, Aynsley China Ltd.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Turquoise with Floral Tea Cup—Aynsley Design # 2958
Not much information to be found on this vintage teacup and saucer from Aynsley. It appears to be referred to by number, rather than pattern name. Where it is referred to in words, it's usually "Turquoise Blue Rim, Multifloral Design." Also, it comes in burnt orange.
I purposely listed it after the other Aynsley cup so you may see the variety of designs and shapes Aynsley makes.
Yuletide, by Queen's, Rosina China Co. Ltd.
This vintage cup and saucer have pine cones, holly leaves and berries with gold trim. Yuletide has been discontinued by Queen's.
This particular cup and saucer have an unusual scalloped design impressed in it. It is called "Eros" design. Look closely at the picture.
My mother used to fill this with greens and berries and put it on an end table during the holiday season.
The cup measures 3 inches high and 3 inches tall. The saucer is 6 inches in diameter.
Rosina China Co., Ltd. is located in Longton, UK and was founded in 1941 and still exists today. This cup was purchased in the 1970s.
Royal Albert also makes a pattern called "Yuletide." It's a white background with poinsettias.
Tips for Caring for Bone China or Porcelain
Most importantly, never put your fine china in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergents are too strong and may remove the design and gold or silver trim. The vibrations of the dishwasher may cause the china pieces to hit each other causing hairline cracks or chips. Also, the heat of the water may cause cracking.
- Do not scrape food off of the dishes with a metal utensil. Use your hands, a rubber spatula or a dishcloth.
- Do not use anything abrasive on the dishes. No rough sided sponges, no cleansers. If you feel you must remove a stain, put baking soda on a very moist sponge and keep the baking soda damp. Rub the spot gently.
- Place a rubber pan in your sink so the dishes are up against something softer than the porcelain or stainless steel sink. Makes it a little safer.
- Do not use hot water. Use warm water and mild detergent. Hot water could cause cracking or crazing in the glaze.
- To prevent staining, wash cups and saucers as soon as possible after serving tea or coffee in them. Try not to let them sit overnight. At the very least, empty the tea or coffee out of them. Remove teabags left on saucers.
- For safety sake add a paper doily or thin paper plate between your saucers if you stack them in the china cabinet. Do not stack cups and saucers in more than one layer. Do not put one cup inside another.
- When stirring your beverage, when adding sugar or cream, avoid scraping the spoon against the porcelain. Spin it in the middle without touching the sides and bottom, if possible.
Yellow Floral Teacup by Elizabethan Bone China, Ltd.
There is not much information for this cup and saucer, but it's far too pretty not to include. I do know this cup was purchased in the 1970s.
I have tried doing internet searches on the manufacturer, and there seems to be information overload. I keep getting a site of china in the Elizabethan era, rather than the proper noun "Elizabethan." I will keep searching.
Do you have an assorted collection of teacups?
Springtime Teacup by Staffordshire
It appears Staffordshire has two patterns named "Springtime". Each is reasonably different from the other, not to be confused. The Springtime pattern not shown has more white space with just little floral garlands here and there.
Even more confusing, the Springtime pattern shown was made in an older version with the same pattern but the colors are more muted and vintage looking.
The information on Staffordshire is somewhat confusing as many pottery companies are located in Staffordshire, England.
As far as dating this cup, I know we had it in the family by the 1980s. The pottery mark has the words "Bone China" in it. Staffordshire used this in the 20th century.
Royal Albert, Celebration—The shape of the teacup is the "footed" style
Celebration is a discontinued pattern. It was manufactured between 1980 and 2001. This pattern is very similar to Royal Albert's "Country Rose". Country Rose has yellow roses included in the mix.
Royal Albert also makes a similar design in all blue called "Moonlight Rose". It is beautiful.
Royal Albert was a name used by the T.C. Wild and Sons, Limited. Longton, Staffordshire, England
Vintage Royal Albert Pink Cup and Saucer—Unidentified forget-me-not pattern. Royal Albert has 4 designs named "Forget-Me-Not" and this is not one of them.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Be Careful—Treat Your Fine Cups Well
When adding sugar or cream to your coffee or tea, swirl the spoon around in the beverage without touching the cup.
Rubbing the metal spoon against the porcelain surface will make minute scratches in it, damaging the glaze.
Floral Bouquet by Crown Staffordshire
White background is punctuated with forget-me-nots, pansies and roses. Gold trim around saucer and cup.
Crown Staffordshire was founded in 1930. They were acquired by Wedgwood in 1973 and in 1985 they discontinued the use of the Crown Staffordshire marking on cups.
This pattern is the discontinued Floral Bouquet (Smooth as opposed to the Scalloped version.)
The saucer is 5-1/2 inches in diameter. The cup is 3-3/8 in diameter and stands 2-1/2 inches high.
A view of the porcelain marks or back stamps on teacupsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Here are links to pottery mark information
These are some very good sites for analyzing your pottery marks
- Royal Albert Pottery Marks
This website shows many (but not all) Royal Albert pottery marks. It is a great reference source for dating your Royal Albert porcelain by its mark.
- Porcelain Site
Primarily German/Bavarian porcelain marks for high end pieces.
- PM & M --Porcelain Marks & More
Many German/Bavarian porcelain marks as well as English. Also information on fake or imitation marks. This is really for more pricey cups than are in my collection. However, some of the pottery marks are shown.
- I Antique Online - China Chat Group
Join I Antique Online for free --- just sign up. Then go to the "China" topic. Read comments other made regarding their own china and see their photos. Post photos of your teacups and share or ask for help in identifying them.
What's your favorite cup and saucer design?
Questions & Answers
Hi, I have assorted tea cups that were handed down to me. I have been trying to identify my Aynsley 7840 teacup, and all I can find is the Cardiff Cobalt Blue. Mine is the same pattern, but a turquoise blue instead of cobalt. I can't seem to find any images of the lighter blue anywhere online. Do you know anything about this lighter blue 7840 teacup?
My go-to place is always Replacements.com. I just did a quick check and they have the Aynsley in the cobalt and burgundy only.Helpful 1
- Helpful 6
- Helpful 2
I have numbered Staffordshire Bone China teacups and saucers, as well as numbered Paragon Bone China. How do I find the value of them?
It is very difficult. My only suggestion would be to go to Replacements Ltd. website; Replacements.com click on "China and Dinnerware"; then "Brands A-Z"; "S"; the "Staffordshire." Then you can narrow it down a little by "Trim Color" or "No Trim Color." Then painstakingly go through the photos. Another approach is to use their search space and type in something like "Staffordshire Turquoise" or "Staffordshire Floral."Helpful 2
I found 4 Spode teacups at my mother's that have no saucers. Were these Spode teacups purposefully without saucers? Or did my mother lose the saucers? This would be very unlike her- everything was kept in a beautiful huge hutch that had glass doors- she was meticulous.
If they truly are teacups, and not mugs or espresso cups, they more than likely came with saucers. The largest data bank of information that I have found is at Replacements. My suggestion would be, if you know your mother's pattern, or can find it there, look for similar cups and see if there are saucers that originally went with them. Could be your mother stacked the saucers and dropped them or they met some other fate.