Japanese Lithophane Teacups

At a yard sale decades ago, I picked up what I considered a rather exquisite tea set that had been made in Japan. I have now discovered that I evidently was the intended buyer, or at least someone like me, someone who is not Japanese. Having identified the set as hand-painted porcelain Satsuma ware, I … Continue reading Japanese Lithophane Teacups

An English Teapot That Spans Centuries

For all the information online, it's frustrating when you come up short! Last summer, I picked up this charming, diminutive, teapot at a yard sale. In pristine condition, it's clearly never been used. Because the teapot—part of The Afternoon Tea Collection, made in England—says that it's been "reproduced from original copper plate hand engravings in … Continue reading An English Teapot That Spans Centuries

Japanese Kutani Porcelain Tea Sets

I never meant to own a bunch of teapots, but somehow I do. Most came from yard sales, and some were given to me, like this gorgeous vintage tea set featuring a peacock and chrysanthemums. My friend thought I'd appreciate this charming set, brought back from Korea by her parents many years ago. A little … Continue reading Japanese Kutani Porcelain Tea Sets

The Evolution of Tea Strainers

Simplest is often best. Less to figure out, less to maintain, less to break.  Take the tea strainer, for instance. All you really need is something that separates tea leaves from liquid. A fork or spoon will often do the job. And the small spouts of Chinese clay teapots, the type of pot that predates … Continue reading The Evolution of Tea Strainers

Vintage Glass Child’s Tea Set

I spied this little set at a garage sale and immediately thought espresso. (For scale, the saucers are three inches in diameter and the cups just over two inches.) But the seller quickly disabused me of that assumption, explaining that this was a vintage Akro Agate child's tea set. Still, I wasn't the only one … Continue reading Vintage Glass Child’s Tea Set

Paul Revere Teapot Reproductions

With the Revolutionary War won, and with teapots no longer politically fraught (see prior post), Paul Revere made at least 49 teapots from 1783 to 1797, according to his books. Then, as now, silver items were expensive. In the early 1760s, a laborer earning 30 pounds per year might be able to afford a child’s … Continue reading Paul Revere Teapot Reproductions

The Significance of a Paul Revere Teapot

Continuing with a look at silver teapots, the most famous of our American silversmiths is, of course, Paul Revere Jr., who lived in this relatively modest house in Boston. Immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem, we all know how Paul Revere rode to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock about approaching British troops. … Continue reading The Significance of a Paul Revere Teapot

Silver and Silver-plated Teapots Still Shine

Ann Arbor is home to one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the country, an event that townies either love or hate. I personally love it and have been to many an artist's booth over the years. And there are few things more irritating to overhear than someone remarking, often in the artist's presence, … Continue reading Silver and Silver-plated Teapots Still Shine

What Can a Vintage Imported Teapot Tell Us?

Give my husband some old milk bottle and he'll spend hours looking up its history. It's amazing what interesting—albeit esoteric—information you can dig up online. Except when I tried searching for info on this teapot that once belonged to my grandmother. I found a lot of these posted on eBay, all of them called "vintage" and … Continue reading What Can a Vintage Imported Teapot Tell Us?