You didn't think I had all those teapots and no teacups to go along with them, did you? Here's a roundup of my beloved, sometimes mismatched teacups and saucers:
I love the sweet little flowers scattered all over this cup and saucer. This is Royal Vale bone china, from England. And I can't recall where or when I bought it! Or how much it cost. Wasn't much, I'm sure of that.
These two are part of a series of Royal Albert's "flower of the month" series. My mom gave one to every member in our family--three generations' worth!
I had to talk the owner of a junk shop out of this Staffordshire cup and saucer. She was juuuuust about ready to take them home again, to use in her own home. But that unusual green in the ovals, and five cupids on the plate--not the expected four....I had to have it! Probably set me back less than $35, all told.
Most of my teacups are bone china; it's stronger and finer than pottery. But this adorable pottery cup and saucer from Anthropologie was irresistible, affordable (less than $20)...
...and the dots of gold on the cup's foot are like teeny-tiny polkadots!This Wedgwood set says "Trenthan" on the underside. It's one of the few things I have that belonged to my paternal grandmother. I'm guessing it's from the early 1900s? Anybody know? And this...
...is at the bottom of the teacup, and in the center of the saucer. How cute is that?
Another version of the "flowers of the month" concept, this one from Royal Nobilta. I can't recall how I got this set....Did I buy it? Receive it as a gift? Either way, I sure do enjoy it.
This is one of the most expensive junk-shop cup-and-saucer sets I've ever bought. It set me back $65, which I thought was scandalously overpriced. But the owner wouldn't budge, and I knew I'd regret it terribly if I didn't take this home. It's become one of my very favorite cup and saucers of all and has more than repaid me for the hours of pleasure it's brought.
And then I found it again, in cobalt blue. The markings on the bottom of both these cups say "Ye Olde English Grosvenor China--Jackson & Gosling, Longton, England." This darker-blue version cost a little less because the edges are more worn than the light-blue version. (My photo is a little out of focus--sorry.)
By the way, it's no coincidence that most of my china is English. Those folks know how to do tea!
It's funny how much the two Grosvenor cups look like this Wedgwood fantasy in black and white. This is my formal china, which languished almost unused for 25 years after my wedding because I was too afraid I'd break it.
Yeah. I got over that. Now I drink tea from it on a regular basis!
This little guy is about 3/4 the size of a regular cup and saucer. It's not bone china, and it's not chintz (an allover floral pattern). Real chintz china (from the late 1800s/early 1900s) was so wildly popular among collectors in the 1980s that almost all of it got sucked out of circulation. This is just small, and cheap, and...cute.
This cup, on the other hand, is so large I suspect it's not technically a teacup but instead a coffee cup. It's "Val d'Or" by Royal Albert. The two saucers it's sitting on are made by Haviland & Co. (the smaller one) and Edwin M. Knowles China Co. (the larger one). The cup and at least one of the plates are from my paternal grandmother--again, some of the few things I have of hers.
It's really easy to find plain white bone china embellished with a single or double band of gold (often 14 carat). Almost every major china company has their own take on this classic, understated look. You can find mismatched and "orphan" pieces in white-with-gold in almost any junk or resale shop. Because the pieces aren't a matched set, the prices are often quite reasonable, and you can build up a china collection fast without spending a lot.
Sometimes I fall in love with just a saucer, no cup anywhere to be seen. How cute is this one, with its little pierced rim? Sweet...
This is "Colclough" bone china from England. You can find it in several different colors. Here I have a couple of white-background saucers with a teacup in the palest of pale blues. But it's the same pattern, and they look nice together, don't they?
So, is my teacup collection complete? Do I have enough to satisfy my needs? Uhh, not yet. There's these...
all from Royal Doulton. I mean, look at that lower-left-hand-corner robin's-egg-blue one! Polkadots! Egad! I'm in love....