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Glamorgan Antiques Newsletter

May 2002 - Newsletter # 2

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Firstly we would like to welcome you all to this second newsletter from Glamorgan antiques.We hope that it will appeal to all lovers of Antiques, whether newcomers or more experienced Collectors.Anyway, the learning process in Antiques never ends,we all get to be more experienced but we never stop learning.

In This Edition

A Cup of Tea!

Collecting Teapots


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Tea drinking originated in China during the T'ang Dynasty 618 - 906 AD. It was called Chia or Char, the latter name was later adopted by the British soldiers serving in India.Tea was introduced into Japan in 1610, it was made by mixing powdered tea with boiling water.In Europe, the first tea began to reach Holland via Japan around 1610 and introduced to England in 1650.It was made popular by the Queen of Charles the 2nd,Catherine of Braganza. It cost £3 per pound in weight, and the British East India company held the monopoly of tea importing into England and they became fabulously rich in the process.Their most famous tea importing ships were the Tea clippers that raced every ship in sight that dared to challenge them.These tea clippers made extremely fast crossings to the Orient and back, but rarely survived beyond a handful of years as most of them finished up in the depths of the Oceans they once crossed.From the very beginning it was black tea that was favoured in Britain, and it still is even today and also in the USA.People tend to think that only Coffee is drunk in the USA but tea is a great favourite also.Tea began to be taxed in 1695 at 1 Shilling per pound in weight, but by 1819 the taxes on tea were enormous, and this is why tea was considered a luxury item and consumed mainly by only those who could afford to buy it.Early China households kept their tea in small china caddies, caddy derives from the Oriental word kati..The 1st English Caddies copied those made in China and were similar to the red Elers ware.Double joined caddies were also made in white lead glazed earthenware, and the English delft caddies had painted landscapes in pale blue colourings.The Worcester Porcelain and Caughley works added a tea caddy to their large tea sets.The most desirable Silver caddies were made during George the 2nd and 3rd period.They were made by famous silversmiths for the Wealthy upper classes.These silver caddies were kept locked , and they were well guarded by the mistress of the household...When tea became cheaper towards the end of the 18th century, wooden caddies were extensively made in Mahogany,Walnut and Satinwood.In some there are 2 matching containers sperated by a cut glass bowl used for mixing 2 types of tea according to the individual taste.The most desirable caddies apart that is from the silver ones, were those made in the Regency period out of Tortoiseshell,Ivory and fruitwoods.Other interesting caddies were made out of black Pontypool ware,also cut glass caddies with silver mounts, papier mache caddies and Bilston Enamels.

Collecting Teapots

Teapots have always added a sense of homeliness to antiques,and to collect them can provide the Collector with a hobby that doesn't have to cost the earth.There are so many different sorts of teapots, that it is hard to know where to begin..The Staffordshire potteries made a vast quantity of them,and they still are made at Staffordshire although in much reduced numbers compared to their Victorian hey day.The Victorians loved High tea, and the "Best" teapot would be used only when visitors called or on Sundays.Some of these lovely pots have high Rococco style and lavish design , hand painted using the whole of the colour pallette to maximum effect.There are flow blue teapots, which are now highly sought after.Also the Blush Ivory types with their own pretty stands as well, normally painted with Summer Roses, the epitomy of Romantic Victoriana.Then you can buy the teapots shaped as cottages,Village Inns, even Racing cars..The 1920/30's teapots are based on the Art deco period, some have very severe lines while others have softer childlike shapes.The Victorians also produced Cottage teapots, usually in the Majolica style.These teapots can fetch enormous amounts of money especially the ones made by the potteries Mintons and George Jones.Then we must not forget the Bargeware teapots, these were huge pots sometimes with another small teapot as the handle of the lid.Barge ware or Measham pots were used by the people who lived mainly on the British Canals in their Barges..Sometimes the teapots have verses, or the names of the area where they were originally from.The glaze on these huge pots was a treacle brown glaze.Another teapot field of collecting is in the Children's teapots..Small to tiny pots, that children loved to play with, unfortunately not that many survived in a good state..One of the most famous teapot makers were the Sadler company, and the Gibson..These potteries made mainly everyday type teapots,but even so, they were still prettily decorated with transfer patterns,such as bunches of wild violets..They were made in strong pottery and many have survived intact up to the present time.The best advice to give is to buy whatever you like,there is no point in buying teapots you do not care for, even if they were made by an illustrious pottery.Check the pot for damage and restorations..If some of the teapots have been repaired, do not instantly reject them, as they should be priced lower and therefore you may be able to find a really good quality pot for a fraction of it's true value..So, happy teapot hunting,enjoy the treasures from days gone by,and now and again enjoy a nice cup of tea from one of your collection pots, but please remember to thoroughly wash it out after use as tea stains are notoriously hard to remove from china.

Teapots for Sale can be found on our Porcelain, Pottery1, Pottery 2, Gaudy Welsh and Swansea pages


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