Tea Cup and Saucer Sets
Unwinding with a cup of tea is one of life’s little pleasures. But if you’re a bit tired of the same old teacup and saucer, with its chips and rubbed off gold paint, there is a world of vessels that can hold your favorite beverage. Your new tea set can be plain or astonishingly fancy, and this guide will help you decide which one is right for you.What materials are these tea and saucer sets made of?
They are made of:
- Porcelain: This is clay fired at very high temperatures. It is tough but vitreous and beautiful.
- Ceramic: Ceramics are also made of fired clay, though they are fired at lower temperatures than porcelain. Teacups and saucers made of this material can be embossed as well as gilded and painted, and glazed or unglazed.
- Glass: Sometimes the glass teacups are held in holders made of metal such as copper or zamac. The glass can be plain, colored, or engraved. Zamac is an alloy of zinc, magnesium, copper, and aluminum.
- Cut crystal
- Bone china: This is also clay with the addition of bone ash. You can tell a bone china teacup and saucer from ones made of regular porcelain because they are translucent when you hold them up to a light.
- Gold: Though most tea sets aren’t made of solid gold, there are lots with gold designs around the rim or on the handle.
- Rhinestone: Rhinestone crystals are used to embellish metal teacup and saucer sets.
- Transferware: Transferware is made by transferring an image from a copper plate to special paper to the teacup and saucer. It can be done on several kinds of ceramics.
- Lusterware: This is porcelain that has a metal gaze that gives the cup and saucer a lovely iridescent quality.
- Lithophane: This is artwork on a porcelain teacup and/or saucer that can only be seen when the item is held up to the light.
- Stoneware: These teacups and saucers are made from clay that is fired at very hot temperatures, which makes them nonporous. You can put a stoneware dish safely in the oven.
- Dragonware: This is a type of pottery made in Japan since the late 1800s. It gets its name because of the dragon decorations that are applied to the cup and saucer.
Tea cups do not necessarily have to have handles. Tea cups from Asia, which tend to be much smaller than western tea cups, are often handle-free. Many China tea cups are made of painted or colored porcelain and have lids. Even western cups can have feet or even pedestals.What patterns do the teacup and saucer sets have?
- Solid, in colors of blue, white, or green.
- Animal prints
- Holiday themed patterns
- Country scenes
- Sports themes
- Reproductions of fine art
- Coats of arms
- Famous people
Accessories for tea and saucer sets include:
- Saucer and cup display stands
- Sugar bowl and napkin rings
- Coffee or tea pot
- Dessert plates
- Brush for cleaning the teapot
- Gift boxes