Tea for 12

Ladies, how many of you had a tea set when you were little?  I think playing tea-time is lots of fun especially now that I’m a grown up and can serve all my favourite foods.  Living in France has curbed my tea consumption a fair bit.  I used to start every morning with a cup of tea with toast or one of Mom’s homemade muffins.  These days, my days start with coffee and tartines.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t have a grown up tea set though.  And that’s exactly what D and I bought as our pre-anniversary present before heading to Toronto.

Recently, on our way back from Nice Étoile we happened upon an antique store.  The store was closed but in the window were all sorts of antique pieces.  There was a lovely crystal Baccarat whiskey decanter with matching Old Fashioned glasses.  There were antique Asian porcelain vases and tea sets.  And then there was the white and gold Limoges tea set.

It was love at first sight and I knew that I wanted it.  The fact that D liked it too was a bonus.

Two days later we found ourselves downtown again.  This time we were driving which complicated matters a bit.  On our way back from downtown we decided we would stop at the antique store and buy the tea set.  The problem was that neither of us had noted the street name.  We drove up and down Giofreddo turning down one way streets before doubling back and taking another street.  It seemed like a lost cause and D finally said to me “we’ll try one more street and then we’ll go home.”  I said yes but inside I was screaming “No! No! Nooooooo!”

Of course the antique store was on the last street!  We double-parked and ran into the store and, with a quick exchange of money for goods, the tea set was all mine ours.

Once we had brought home our tea set I set about cleaning it.  (The question of where to put the tea set wasn’t answered until Monday afternoon.)  I don’t know much about Limoges porcelain, except that good porcelain should be fine.  You should be able to see the shape of your fingers through each piece.  With very little information at hand I opened my computer to do a little search on our new purchase.

I noticed the mark on the bottom of all the pieces in the set: Théodore Haviland.  It seems there is quite a following as Haviland porcelain was popular in the US and the UK.  (The founder of the company was American and catered primarily to the American tastes of the time.  Read a little about Haviland & Co here.)  The next step was to get an idea as to the age of the tea set.  From what I could find on the website, the tea set dates between 1897 and 1924.  Not bad, eh?  I like the set because it’s quite simply decorated.  I’m not a huge fan of flowers and other stuff on my tableware.  I know it also means that I have to handwash every piece I use but that’s the price you pay, right?

The next decision is what to serve for tea.  Cucumber sandwiches anyone?

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Categories: Limoges, porcelain, tea set

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and self-fulfillment...in France!

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2 Comments on “Tea for 12”

  1. Tuula
    September 2, 2011 at 6:42 PM #

    You brought back some lovely memories for me Tanya – I haven’t thought about having a tea set since I was a child! Even though my grandmother had many beautiful teacups that I packed up (a few that is) and brought to France. The tea set you found is so pretty…and elegant. Can’t wait to hear about that first tea party…& I’m in for one or two cucumber sandwiches! bon weekend 🙂

    • September 5, 2011 at 3:33 PM #

      Good for you that you brought them to France! First of all, you have the memories but second, it’s lovely being surrounded by beautiful things. I hope that you get to enjoy yours too!
      Happy Monday! 🙂

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