Monday, August 8, 2011

Collecting Teacups

I saw these Harlequin Collection teacups by Wedgewood at the David Jones department store in Brisbane. This is the first time I've seen teacups sold in an assorted set, making them look as if they were collected one by one.  I love how all of them are perfectly uncoordinated and look truly like a collection--but in terms of "collecting", isn't that cheating?

I would love to add the Wedgwood set to my teacup collection. But by definition, collecting means "to acquire in a systematic manner, over a period of time". So buying a complete set, off-the-shelf, is not really "collecting." That's plain shopping!

 This gorgeous pattern is called "Queen of Hearts" 
I got most of my teacups from eBay.  I chose, I bidded, I won (and lost many) and I received it in the mail--one by one. In short, I "accumulated, over time".  I also got a few from flea markets. The only time I bought a set of 6 was at an estate sale auction. So in effect, I bought someone's collection. So okay, I'm also guilty of short- cutting the process of collecting!

The most important thing for me is that my teacups have all been previously owned.  I'd like to think that they have"soul", and that they had a life before they came to me.  It just makes each of them unique and much more interesting than those bought brand new from a department store.

Over at Myers, the other department store in downtown Brisbane, there were these assorted sets from Royal Albert. The Wedgwood set was Aus$499, and these were Aus$399. O.m.g. If I bought any teacups at this price, no one would be allowed near them! None of my teacups cost more than US$20, most of them less than that, but they're worth much much more. How do you put a cost on "soul"?


I always thought that Royal Albert (by Royal Doulton) and Wedgwood were competitors, but they're actually owned by the same parent company.

I'd never buy a complete collection, off the shelf, for myself. But I'd love to add that queen of hearts pattern to my display case (and maybe another two more from the Harlequin collection). Now I'm on a quest to find those patterns from someone who is giving them some history and soul right now.


Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

I collected tea cups when I lived overseas. I had a freind who was a flight attendant and whenever she went to a new country she purchased one cup of their iconic pattern. I thought it was such a great idea I started it myself. I have about a dozen, mostly in blue and white. I love them! Haven't bought any in such awhile because I haven't traveled overseas lately. I have Porsgrund from Norway, Royal Copenhagen from Denmark, Wedgewood Aphrodite from England, etc. It's fun to build a collection. I'm like you, a pre-collected collection might be cheating.:)

Marivic said...

Hi Carla, that's even a better idea! Maybe I should start my collection from scratch and do the travel teacups too.

Murissa Maurice said...

So lovely! I too love tea cups. My grandfather was an antique collector and dealer so it rubbed off on my dad and now onto me. I have a couple tea cups from England that my family owned and used over 100 years ago.

I love the Queen of Heart set as well! The mere architecture of that cup is stunning.

The Wanderfull Traveler

Sheila Cruickshank said...

You are correct, I love looking at the Wedgewood and Royal Albert sets in Myer, Brisbane, but it is cheating to get the whole set in one go! The beauty of collecting a mixed set is that you remember where each tea-cup was bought, or who gave it to you. I have too many so I have stopped collecting, but I got them as gifts from great grandparents, aunts and friends, or antique shops around the world(New Zealand and England and Wales). I then invite the family for afternoon tea, and we all drink from a different cup!


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