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Collecting Vintage or Antique Tea Cups

So I have been trying to start collecting antique or vintage tea cups, tea pots, and tea accessories for a while now, but I have no idea where to start! Are there certain styles or brands to look out for while antiquing? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

32 Replies
JasonCT said

My suggestion would be to go with you eye.
Good Will and Salvation Army type stores are great for these sorts of things.
I think it all depends on your goal with collecting. Do you want to just display them? Investment? Use them?
If you’re going to use them, then I would def. say look at your good will/charity shops and have a ball starting with with you like.
One thing you have to do though is you must share pictures of everything you acquire so that we can vicariously live through you :)

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mrmopar said

ebay!

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forsythia said

I think that would be a very personal thing, but I collect Royal Albert china cups and prefer the “Montrose” style of cup. I have many beautiful ones which, by the way, I use often and several favorites daily. As far as finding vintage and antique cups,like Jason suggests, thrift and antique shops are great. It’s a sad fact but when relatives purge a deceased family member’s home, her/his precious tea cup collection can be packed off. :( Thankfully, most of my RA cups and teapots were purchased from gift and specialty shops before RA ceased to be. That is, the beautiful well made RA. Recently, I’ve used the internet to complete RA collections, via ebay or other. But I’ve found others in thrift shops.

It can be addictive and you may pay more than you should for a particular cup, but then that’s collecting.

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Nicole said

Estate sales and ditto mrmopar – Ebay! That’s where I’ve picked up a lot of my teapots, creamers, sugar dishes and cups over the years. A coworker gave me some Raymond Loewy designed china that his great aunt had collected and that led me to looking on Ebay to complete the set (no luck so far) and that led me to begin collecting Homer Laughlin cups and saucers.

I would say that it would save money in the long run if you decide what you want to collect first – a certain style, time period, company… If you want to aim for cups that “go” together on a table for use, or if you want to just display a widely varied collection. :) You can certainly spend tons of money on collecting anything, but especially if you let yourself just wander through the overall genre of things you collect.

I have kitschy character teapots and floral teapots; English, Bavarian and Asian inspired designs; clear Caprice glass sets, Avon ruby glass sets and ceramic sets, and even a Franz teapot (along with a couple of cheaper knockoff imitators of Franz). If I’d chosen a certain style to begin with, I might have spent less money. However, it has been fun not feeling constricted to a certain family of design. :)

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Azzrian said

Here are some things to look for and notes I took when doing my own research. These are literally notes I took for myself – they may not be very clear lol.
Also I am absolutely NO expert!
Look for:
Ucagco Occupied Japan Footed Teacups
Aynsley English Cups
Spode very valuable!
Gladstone – I like this style

Some English manufacturers and designers to look out for:  Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Mintons, Carlton Ware, Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Beswick, Royal Worcester, Crown Ducal, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Winton, Shelley, Burleigh Ware, Poole, Crown Devon, SylvaC, Wade, Portmerion.  There are, of course, many more companies but I have mentioned a few of the more popular or prestigious names. 

classics from famous factories, such as Poole freeforms and Carlton Ware Guinness toucans, are always likely to be sought-after (but there’s no guarantee)

NOTE: Nothing really matters but what you feel a pull to. What you enjoy and want to look at. What is “valuable” to someone in collecting may not be to others. An item is ONLY worth what someone is willing to pay for it and after looking ALL OVER ebay and other sites I have seen things being sold and bought for far more and far less than they should be due to who needs it and how bad they want it.
Collectables is a tough thing to get into so do it for what you love – not what you think you may be able to turn it into investment wise later on.

Good luck on your shopping! It is fun – but I ran out of room far too fast lol

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Azzrian said

Here are some of my tea cups – only those I have displayed at this time.
Sorry for cruddy pics
http://s127.beta.photobucket.com/user/Azzrian/library/TEACUPS?postlogin=true#

Very pretty!! This just reminded me I have an old tea cup and saucer in my trunk with some stuff my mom gave me when she moved… I’ll have to pull it out later!

Nicole said

I love the footed pink rimmed one!

Azzrian said

Madeline – oh yes dig it out and show us!
Nicole – yes I love that one as well unfortunately there was no matching saucer.

Uniquity said

I LOVE the first one with the gold squiggles. That’s stunning!

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GuyOne said

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I can’t get my pictures from my phone to post, but it’s this one: http://img1.etsystatic.com/000/0/6259898/il_570xN.340973997.jpg

Guess it’s not that old, but it was my great aunt’s so I know it’s not NEW lol ;)

Nicole said

That is so pretty!

Thank you! Once my phone is working I’ll post some from my grams… how did I forget I owned all these? Probably because I don’t drink out of them!

Azzrian said

Precious.

Lynxiebrat said

Madeline Alyce….ooooo that is beautiful!

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Oh my goodness that was way too complicated of a process for one picture! My electronics are FREAKING out for some reason! Anyway, here are two more from my great grandma. And yes, I know one isn’t a tea cup; it’s just pretty! I have some more pots, but they’re mostly novelty, not vintage! Anyway, in picture, pot is from Japan, pourer China, saucer England!

http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/6355_10151334449411335_1076988612_n.jpg

Nicole said

What a cute little winter time pot! And it’s nice to have some things with some history to them (great grandma, etc.). I have some from my granny that were brought to her from Japan by my grandad and a couple of saucers from my great aunt.

These are great!

Thank you! :)

Azzrian said

Pretty!!!

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Nicole said

Here are my pretties. I pretty well mix vintage and novelty and art. :)

http://s1165.beta.photobucket.com/user/dagony/library/Tea%20collection

The bunny is adorable!!!! My novelty are pots with hats as lids, Haha

Azzrian said

I love the bunny tea cup! So sweet!

Uniquity said

What an awesome dragonfly pot!

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