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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Afternoon Tea

So, my latest obsession?  Antique Victorian quadruple plated silver teapots from the Aesthetic Era!  It all started from the fact that I've been reading this summer Gil MacNeil's series of books about a yarn shop owner in England.  It seems no matter what's going on or what time it is, the answer is "let me put the kettle on."  They drink tea all the time!  I love tea, so I started thinking that I need a proper tea pot so that I can have afternoon tea with "biscuits" and "digestives" while crocheting and dreaming about sitting in a lovely yarn shop by the sea (no offense to Looped Yarn Works, but English accents by the water, how wonderful would that be?!)

My search started at because who better?!  And pretty quickly, I came across the Brown Betty, a teapot with quite a history. It goes back to the end of the 17th Century when the British Ceramic Teapot came into being.  The original Brown Bettys were made out of red clay from the Bradell Woods area in Stoke-on-Trent and left unglazed. The teapots are still made in Stoke-on-Trent with the same clay from the original area, and it is thought that the Brown Betty makes the best pot of tea because of the type of clay that is used and the shape of the pot.

But, right before hitting the "buy" button, I started thinking I should get a stainless steel teapot because I already have a very nice, simple stainless steel creamer and sugar and thus I'd have a set.  Well, in the search for stainless steel, I got led to silver plated teapots and eBay and quadruple silverplated and "vintage" and "antique" and finally to the gorgeous carved and embossed teapots (repousse) from the Victorian Era.  (I also recently saw the movie The Butler, and of course, there are scenes of him carrying in a beautiful, shiny coffee/tea set to the Oval Office:-)  It's amazing all of the information out there about the process of making quadruple plated items, the different designs and finishes, and the different companies that made such tea sets back in the mid-to late-1800s.

I lost a few auctions but found a lovely pot being sold by a lady in Florida.  The pot's been in her family since her grandmother, so that made it more attractive.  Plus, she was offering it on a "best offer" basis, so I was able to negotiate a fair deal with her and avoid the whole whoo-haaa of the auctions.  Whew.

So, as you can see, I shined up the pot and the silver plated tray that I had not had a full appreciation for before all this and was able to enjoy a spot of tea while crocheting!  Ahhhhhh!

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