Tuesday, 1 February 2011

LOVE February - CelebriTEA- For the love of a teacup

This is the first in our new series of CelbriTEA slots, monthly guest blogs on the 1st of the month from the cream of the vintage and tea world.

We are excited to introduce Caroline Brown shopkeeper, artist & vintage doyenne. She is the Owner of The House of Rose & Brown, vintage boutique in Saltaire, West Yorkshire
and online boutique www.roseandbrownvintage.co.uk also the organiser of the Saltaire Vintage Home & Fashion Fairs, and Saltaire Antiques & Collectables Markets, plus vintage fairs and fashion shows in Yorkshire and beyond…

The lonesome teacups
by Caroli
ne Brown













What are the makings of a vintage doyenne? A vintage doyenne is a strange mixed brew. Consisting of a simple true love of old objects, a curiosity about traces of history, an innate inability to stop rescuing things, an appreciation of old-fashioned craftsmanship and a childish wonder at the delightful tableaux lurking in mismatched vintage treasures.
Of course there is also the demon magpie within all vintage fanatics – hoarding away precious and peculiar objects,wanting to discover, own and accumulate the pieces of the past that gives us the most pleasure.
Teacups are my own personal downfall. They have to be single teacups, either with or without their saucers. It is almost impossible for me to resist rescuing a lonely teacup – why has it come so adrift from its original compatriots, what happened to the rest of the tea set? Solitary works of art, perfect in form and function, I take them home and pop them on a shelf or mantelpiece or bookcase, where they immediately help to create a charming still life alongside my unfettered mix of vintage bits and pieces.
I thought that I’d share a number of my favourite lonesome teacups with you. Not so lonesome now that I've given them a home.










This Aynsley teacup, decorated with gold line drawings of little birdies is an absolute favourite, partly because I adore birds and bird motifs. My husband and I are keen
birdwatchers and this whole mantelpiece in our front room is currently dedicated to the little feathered fellows. I’ve owned the papier-mâché robin for years, but he’s only just taken to perching on the little bird cage.











We own a beau
tiful cream painted, tall, glass fronted cabinet which used to belong in the premises that now contains my vintage boutique, and dates back to the building’s d
ays as a sweetshop run by the Quarmbys. When we got the cabinet home I decided to use it to showcase some of my favourite treasures, alongside some of the beautiful books that my husband has given me over the years. I fell in love with the delicate green shade of this Colclough cup, with its cheerful rose decoration and it now sits alongside a book on the architecture of Mexico and a fictional account of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.










The darling little pink cup which sits on the mantelpiece in our bedroom is hand painted with gold flourishes and delicate flowers. It has been signed with ‘CL’ and a curious gold logo. I kn
ow that this is a quality piece even though I can’t distinguish the maker’s mark, and it is extra precious because it contains the earrings I wore for my wedding, and an old ring of my mum’s. The teacup sits next to a beehive-shaped musical powder puff pot, uncovered at a vintage fair and treasured for years, even though it doesn't always want to play its tune.











This Royal Doulton rose-bud decorated teacup, sitting on a set of Victorian scales on a shelf in our hallway, was the piece that started my collection. The cup was all on its own some, no saucer, no sugar bowl, just the one dinky cup. What a sweet, sad sight. Months later I found a couple of Royal Doulton rose-bud saucers, and even though the makers’ marks show that they’re different ages, I matched up one of the saucers with my rosebud cup and us
ed it to house some peculiar buttons and tokens found on my travels. I still love this little piece of ‘granny chic’ vintage.
I have dozens and dozens of other rescued teacups, and stories to go with each one. That’s the beauty of vintage – it’s all about the tales that you can tell, and the stories that the vintage pieces could share, if only they could speak.
If you enjoyed this article you can visit Carolines blog at www.roseandbrownvintage.wordpress.com
Mismatched vintage teacups and saucers can be purchased at www.dormouseandtheteapot.com

LOVE February Competition - Fourteen days of fabulous prizes!







Tell the team at Dormouse and The Teapot in no more than 50 words why you LOVE tea. Post your answer in the comments section by clicking comment at the bottom of the page, make sure you leave a contact email or twitter name otherwise if you win we won't be able to send you your prize!

Today's lucky winner will win a set of Spons kindly supplied by The Spon Co. A Spon is a derivation of the spoon - only better. When it comes to stirring your soup, or stew, or cake mix, or porridge, or...... whatever, the spon eliminates all that "clogging" where the soup, mix etc fills the bowl and has to be scraped out. Ideal for you home bakers.

All winners will go in a draw on 14 February to win a fantastic vintage tea set for two from www.dormouseandtheteapot.com


Remember there will be fourteen days of competitions, you may enter as many times as you wish over the fortnight but you may only win one prize.

Sorry UK entrants only.
Dormouse and The Teapot use a randomiser to select the winner.





Competition is now closed.