I love the look and feel of vintage and antique items. My collections contain quite a few beautiful items that I enjoy sharing.
A 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 may even find teacups and saucers at local tag sales. You could also purchase a cup and saucer sets and start a collection that will someday 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?
Duchess Meadowsweet Teacup
- 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 known "Meadow Sweet" patterns.
- 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
Not much information to be found on this vintage teacup and saucer from Aynsley. It appears to be referred to by a 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 Queens
- 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 the "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 three inches high. The saucer is six 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. It 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.
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.
Staffordshire Springtime Pattern
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.
- 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
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.
Resources to Learn More About 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.
Questions & Answers
Question: Do you know anyone who accepts collections of teacups?
Answer: A while back a person contacted me who has a tea house. That person is looking for teacups. The information is as follows:
On Saturday, May 25, 2019, 11:10:43 PM EDT, Lia (via HubPages) wrote:
has sent you this message.
(email address not verified)
Please contact me if you can I have a tea House need teacups 9546957264 thank you
I hope this information helps.
Question: What kind of marks should I look for when trying to identify a teacup with no stamps or where it was made?
Answer: That is a problem. The only thing I can suggest is to do internet searches of websites that sell china such as Replacements or Ruby Lane. If you search on the color or pattern such as "floral", you might come up with some information that a knowledgeable seller has. It might be a long time-consuming task
Question: I have numbered Staffordshire Bone China teacups and saucers, as well as numbered Paragon Bone China. How do I find the value of them?
Answer: 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."
Question: 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?
Answer: 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.
Question: I can't find anything about a teacup I have. Do you know anything about a simple 51 on the bottom?
Answer: No I'm sorry. I don't know anything about it. It sounds more like a series or issue number than an manufacturer's hallmark. I would suggest searching websites on line until you find a picture of the same thing and hope the picture lists the manufacturer.
Question: 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.
Answer: 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.
Are you interested in teacup collecting?
Julia Rosen, Chappaqua, NY on February 01, 2020:
I am inheriting my mother's teacup collection. Most are cups and saucers, but some have cake plates as well. Most are from Britain, but there are others that are from Bavaria and France. Without exaggeration, there must be close to 45 cups and saucers.Do you know anyone who is interested? How would I go about finding people who are interested?
Lee Powell on January 30, 2020:
I have about 16 cups and saucers to go to a good home. How do you connect with interested collectors? In Ottawa, Canada
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on September 08, 2019:
Good for you! Enjoy!
Nancy Ester Owens on September 04, 2019:
Had a couple of tea cups and saucers that i used cause they were so pretty.
Looked at them closer and realized they were more than dime store varity.
Started researching and fell in love with all the ones i saw. Decided to find some more and now i am hooked.
Am starting slowly and adding only ones i want to use . I am too old for dust collectors.
Amy on May 15, 2019:
I have 6 norman rockwell tea cups for sale in flint michigan if interested 30 dollars
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on December 01, 2018:
This question has come up before and the only thing I can suggest to go to Replacements Ltd. website; Replacements.com and put the word "teacup" in their search engine. This should bring up a menu on the side from which you can pick color, trim color and characteristics. Then the search becomes tedious and just plain research work of looking at pictures.
Bren Holman on November 29, 2018:
Hello from Australia.i have inherited many English tea cups and saucers from family members..i love them! I have a set of very fine corset shaped cups that were possibly my great grandmother's, which i cannot identify because there are no marks. What can i do?
Emma-Jeanne Bergfels on August 25, 2018:
My daughter and I love collecting tea cups and saucers. We have even had several afternoon teas for family and friends. My daughter is special needs and she has learned to socialize with people at tea. It brings a whole new meaning to our collecting.
Jeanette sykes on May 20, 2018:
I was in a tea cup exchange group. But the lady stopped doing it. I really wanted to collect them
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on March 19, 2018:
Go to Replacements.com. Click on China/Dinnerware. Then "Brands A-Z" . This should open an alphabetic list which includes Royal Kent (Poland)
Lindsay nickerson on March 18, 2018:
I have a collection from Royal Kent collection Poland china. Ive tried to look it up but cant find my design.
kathleen hartley on August 24, 2017:
i have a teacup collection that i am looking to sell. i recently inherited it as well as much more glassware items. they are beautiful but not "my cup of tea" if you will.
Jean Riley on August 08, 2017:
I have my mother's collection. Ready to dispose of them. Many from different parts of the world. Some gold leaf. Is anyone interested?
VERLEY on September 20, 2015:
I have almost 500 tea cups and saucers plus a few sets, teapots, 60 cake plates, a few glass egg platters. I started when I was 16. IN OUR AREA THE PRICES HAVE DROPPED TREMENDOUSLY THE LAST FEW YEARS SO I have been scooping up what I LOVE. Have also introduced 3 different young people to collecting by gifting them some from my collection when they get all gooey eyed. Even 3 young children now have their favorites and their mom has acquired a beautiful oak china cabinet to house them in. I have made sure they are using them by purchasing them more. I am a strong believer in touching will enhance collecting and if one gets damaged it is an opportunity to find another one - rarely does one get damaged.
Joanie Ruppel from Keller, Texas on June 27, 2015:
Loved the photo collection of the back stamps, unique idea.
cupsandsaucers on July 19, 2014:
Great info. Thanks for sharing your beautiful collection. I have a collection also. I find that not many people younger than me are interested in these types of things anymore. I don't have anyone to pass along to. I have health issues and I am going to be selling my family heirlooms. It is sad but what can you do?
VioletteRose LM on March 08, 2014:
Wow they look so pretty :)
angemari on February 06, 2014:
great and fascinating collection!
Stephanie from Canada on January 07, 2014:
I didn't realize it was bad to hang up tea cups! I was thinking of getting something to hang my mugs on, but never have because I'm terrified of them breaking. I'm glad now that I didn't!
sweetstickyrainbo on December 08, 2013:
I like the corn flower blue demitasse.
mel-kav on October 06, 2013:
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on August 30, 2013:
@anonymous: If it looks like an add on or not the same print as the back stamp, it is probably the initial of the individual who painted the design on.
anonymous on August 30, 2013:
What does the little letter under the backstamp of an Elizabethan cup mean, mine has a lowercase j in blue
Shamim Rajabali from Texas on August 26, 2013:
ChocolateLily on August 23, 2013:
Lovely collection! I have a few I inherited from my husband's grandmother. They are very special to us.
Legenden on July 15, 2013:
very beautiful lens! :)
LorLinda from Denver Colorado on June 21, 2013:
Oh I just love this lens simply beautiful!!!!! pinned
jemacb on June 03, 2013:
Thanks for sharing. Never thought that Tea Cups could be so interesting. :-)
VspaBotanicals on June 02, 2013:
Really beautiful. I learned the hard way about hanging tea cups by the handles. Thanks for sharing!
LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 29, 2013:
Collecting teacups has become very popular again recently. I went to a fair where someone had made candles in the teacup set. I thought this was a lovely idea to give as a gift.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on April 13, 2013:
@anonymous: It's not easy. First identify the manufacturer by the back stamp. Then you could do an internet search on the manufacturer. Probably you will be able to find out when they started manufacturing and if are no longer active, you would know the last year your cup. could have been made. This would give you a range. If they are still in business, you could try contacting them for information. I would send them a photo of the cup. The only other resource would be looking up the pottery mark in a pottery mark book. Manufacturers often changed their marks. A pottery mark book will tell you between which years a particular mark was used.
anonymous on April 09, 2013:
I have recently bought an antique cup and saucer and I would very much love to find out how old it is. Is there a way I can dp that.
Evelyn88 on March 04, 2013:
I don't collect, I just have one or two old sets like those. All these you have posted here, are wonderful, some of them are actually works of art! Great lens!
NostalgicTimes on February 19, 2013:
Beautiful collection of teacups! Love all of them. Don't really collect teacups but if I had the space, I certainly would love to own 2 sets. :)
DuaneJ on February 14, 2013:
Being a big tea-lover myself, I have to like a beautiful tea cup. These are great.
Takkhis on February 06, 2013:
My mom does it. I don't collect these!
Delia on February 06, 2013:
I have a small collection of teacups, also a collection of teapots...One of my teacups by Spode in my cabinet, exploded...very weird.
rockingretro2 on January 16, 2013:
This has inspired me to plan a lens showing off my collection of tea cups that have three feet on the cup. Luckily for me (and my poor husband!) these can be difficult to find thereby limiting the size of my collection!
kcsantos on January 13, 2013:
Thanks for sharing this wonderful lens! My grandma used to collect tea cups.
norma-holt on December 31, 2012:
A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs
anonymous on December 17, 2012:
This is really cool, I like these, it is helpful to me, thank you. :)
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on December 12, 2012:
Oh wow, I really enjoyed looking at your beautiful Vintage Teacup Collection and reading all this wonderful information. Thank you.
TheComfyCat on November 29, 2012:
These are beautiful to look at but I don't think I would want to start a collection.
darciefrench lm on November 28, 2012:
So pretty - thanks for sharing your lovely collection of teacups and pictures
Vikki from US on November 23, 2012:
A very dear friend of mine (passed away now) used to collect teacups; this lens brought back such good memories for me helping her track down her next find. Love your selections! They do have some amazing teacups and just keep getting better!
Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on November 21, 2012:
Yes, Iove your cups... they are so pretty!
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on November 19, 2012:
What charming ideas for collecting teacups. I drink tea and have a few teacups, but I really couldn't call it a collection. Perhaps I need a few more!
Expat Mamasita from Thailand on November 17, 2012:
I was born in Stoke on Trent and your lens brought back happy memories. My Gran always used a bone china cup and saucer. Even though I now live in Central America I still turn my plates over in restaurants to see where they were made!!
Iudit Gherghiteanu from Ozun on November 10, 2012:
beautiful lens and collection, right now i did decide that my only pretty tea cup will be the first item of a collection. But i do need a lot to learn, do not i?
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on November 07, 2012:
Sounds like great hobby. Lovely presentation!
Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on November 01, 2012:
You have a beautiful teacup collection!
MarcellaCarlton on October 29, 2012:
Yes, and I would love to ask people in for a holiday tea.
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
@Board-Game-Brooke: No! Use your tea cup. I play a CD I have called "The Art of Tea' and surf the internet while looking at other tea cup websites and drink from my favorite cup my husband bought me. It is so relaxing to listen to the music, see beautiful tea cups and enjoy my favorite cup of tea. If at all use it for special 'me' times and enjoy it. It's a waste sitting in the cabinet collecting dust. Use it. Do you have a daughter? Teach her about tea and tea cups. She will learn to appreciate them.
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
I want to start a collection and use them. How do I pack them to use at a party at someone else's home?
csk305 on October 28, 2012:
No, but I'd like a really pretty one with matching plate.
LaurenIM on October 28, 2012:
Violets are my fav flower so I really liked those tea cups. I have a few teacups in my collection though I wouldn't consider myself a collector by any means.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on October 23, 2012:
@nifwlseirff: I love Meissen. It is absolutely beautiful.
nifwlseirff on October 23, 2012:
Gorgeous tea cups! i live near Meissen in Germany, so this brand is much more common than those from England (in fact, most people have never heard of the British porcelain makers).
C A Chancellor from US/TN on October 08, 2012:
These are so pretty! I have one fancy teacup that was a gift, but I feel like it's too nice to use, so I drink my tea out of a regular mug.
anonymous on October 01, 2012:
Melissa Miotke from Arizona on September 29, 2012:
My daughter and I have enjoyed tea parties with her plastic sets since she was probably about 18 months. I've been looking to get her a nicer set now that she's a bit older. Blessed!
YummyInspirations on September 28, 2012:
Wow! An enviable collection. I love brightly colored and floral teacups. :)
Rebecca Fiskaali from Florida on September 27, 2012:
Very cool teacup collection. My mother and mother-in-law actually collect vintage teapots. I always admire them when I'm there.
crstnblue on September 26, 2012:
Very nice vintage lens! Thumbs up & thanks for sharing!