Monday, August 9, 2010

Mysteries of Old China

So many bloggers here have collections of lovely old china, tea cups and saucers and lovely little pots in different shapes and romantic colors. I've been keeping an eye out for something I might get to start a little collection. I've seen a few items, but haven't yet found anything to bring home. Then it occured to me, we have some china pieces. They were given to us from one of my husband's aunts when she passed away. They had been shoved in the far back of some cabinet, wrapped in newspaper and still in the tupperware container they came to us in. I knew they were old, from the 50s, maybe late 40s, altho I can't date them very accurately, and doubt if anyone still living knows the actual story of the collection.

There are obviously more saucers than tea cups, and only one actual set. Admittedly the ones which fascinate me the most are these two saucers, which are marked with 'Made in Occupied Japan' on the back. They're not high quality, but it's definitely a piece of history here.

This pretty one is marked that it was made in Germany, US Zone, tho I believe there is a Belgium mark above it. (Sorry, the eyes weren't doing so well making out the markings.) That would have been a brief period after WW2 as well, right?

These others are just made in Japan.

Here is my actual only set, the tea cup and saucer is marked Yamaka, Japan, but I don't think it's highend, there is a bump in the cup. The odd thing is, I have the one teacup with two saucers which look like they would be its mate. The smaller saucer is what I would think to pair it with, proportion-wise, but it is unmarked, whereas the larger saucer has the same marking as the cup, and a more hexagon mark on its base, same as the cup.

The other two cups in the collection are a bit of oddities. This small one has a scene of a large brick building, which as much as I can translate, is the Minnesota Court Building, somewhere Minnesota. A tourist piece, I suppose.

But this last vessel really puzzles me. It looks to me, among all the Japanese cups, like it is an official Japanese sake cup, or something to that nature. But the mark on the bottom declares it to be made in England, of a pattern called Highland Heather.  Ladies, do I have here a finger bowl?

Sorry for the poor quality of pictures. I tried several versions of flash versus no flash to get the best quality, but don't think I did a great job of it. Trickier than it looks to take a photo of china.

I am linking up to Lady Katherine and Martha's Favorites teacup parties, hoping to share in some fun, and maybe get a bit of insight about this humble collection. I do have an actual full set I will share next time.


Lady Katherine said...

How wonderful to remember you have such lovely Treasures! Oh, I would use the odd and end saucers as desert plates. The bowl could be a sugar bowl? Or maybe it is a Teacup, Martha should know! She has such a lovely collection. Thank you for sharing your lovely treasures! I think I have one of the saucers you have. Find a teacup in the same colors and use them with the saucers you have. I love to mix and match.

Brenda ~ Shabby Cats and Roses said...

Hello :) What lovely treasures you found. I think the one cup would work with either of the saucers, and who knows, one day you may just come across the matching cups to the other saucers you have :) They are all very lovely.

Happy Tea Tuesday!!

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Msartist said...

Lovely treasures from family~I love the Highland Heather cup. So pretty! Happy Tea Tuesday! Pop by for a giveaway and a chance to win something if you can. MsartistSewCrafty, Theresa

crazymotheringchick said...

Those are sweet, Jane. When you told me about them, I thought it was a matching set, like the one from Grandma Wiseman. I love that they are odds and ends. Odds and ends fascinate me. What you need now is a silver teapot, and use them all together!

Snap said...

Beautiful treasures. I love mixing and matching!

KathyB. said...

I love mixing and matching old cups and saucers and it is a good thing because I have quite a few! You found some nice pieces hidden away at home!

Terri said...

How wonderful to have your husband's Aunt's treasures!
It is a very interesting collection. The rose cup and saucer is very pretty. And the cup without handles is so different. I know that when England first began to drink tea, they made their own versions of a sake type cup, no handles on those early cups. But the shape of yours is not what I have seen for the early cups, yours is footed and quite like a bowl. Did you say it only has "England" on the back and the pattern name? Does it say "made in England"? If it doesn't say "made in" then it is earlier then you think, earlier than 1920 or even 1900.
Thank you so much for sharing your find today.

DesigningLadyJane said...

Thanks everyone, for your thoughts and comments on my little 'found' collection. I like the ideas of a silver teapot, and a mix and match set from these. That would be true 'cottagey' wouldn't it?

Terri, the stamp does say Made in China, and above it 'Foley Bone China' (I think). I guess it could also be a sherbert bowl, or candy dish, there's so many possibilities to it, isn't it?

Bella said...

Hi Lady Jane... You have some really pretty pieces... all the more special because they are family treasures!! I love mix and match... I think it makes everything fun and original:-)
Thanks for your visit! I too get overwelmed... just buy what you love and have fun!

Wanda Lee said...

Hello there dear Lady Jane,

These pictures of your pretty china are just lovely!

Thanks for sharing them with us!..,

~Oh do also come by and enjoy this week's delightful; 'Tuesday And Wednesday Teatime In Blogland'!..,

.., Please come and join us for our weekly blog tea parties; for my 44th, 'Tuesday Tea For Two', my 35th, 'Wednesday Tea For Me And Thee', as well as for my shared meme with my dear friend Pam for our 16th, 'Teapot And Tea Things Tuesday'; there are many new delights that await you this week!

..,We would love having you join us!..,

*We;(Pam and I both, respectively);we both work full time as self-employed persons and we sincerely apologize when we are unable to get back to you as soon as we would prefer!..,

Have a marvelous week! ~ Hope to see you soon dear lady!

Cheers and hugs from wanda Lee