“The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer drives away all demons, a little-known fact.” – Terry Pratchett
I have always loved beautiful things. I also love to find out about their history and what they tell us about who and where we are now.
It started early, when my grandmother would often serve me tea in a different cup each time I came to visit. I would return wet and cold from my ramblings in the countryside, and she put me by the fire with her reassuring brew and tell me stories about the cup she’d chosen that day – it might have belonged to some beloved great-aunt. Or she might point to a marking in some inexplicable script, and explain that she had purchased it during the war, when chinaware was scarce and traders put their reserves up for sale. I marvelled at the intricate landscapes with willows and bridges on Barratt cups, or the delicate flowers dancing over a Wileman cup.
Fast-forward several decades, and I found myself one morning contemplating life. I had recently left a job and career that had always given me much joy and satisfaction, but that had been demanding everything from me and, after many years of ceaseless work, commuting and pressure, left me feeling burned out. I had decided to push the pause button to see what would happen.
When depositing some old clothes to my local Salvation Army shop the previous afternoon, I had seen a gorgeous teaset. It was simple and elegant and I absolutely adored it. I didn’t need a teaset and I didn’t want anything, so I went home without buying anything. But that teaset didn’t leave me – my old love for art, history and all things beautiful was kindled.
The next morning I woke up with a fully formed plan. I clearly knew that my business was the joy and passion that I rediscovered that afternoon in the Salvation Army shop. My curiosity about the history of those humble cups, my thrill about their beauty, and an enterprising streak that I had forgotten I possessed quickly had the better of me, and 48 hours later I had my shop running online. From there, I have never looked back.
At first, I opened a shop to share my love for beauty. But soon it became two shops:
VINTAGE (hosted on Etsy)
ANTIQUES (hosted on Ruby Lane)
You might be looking for a special gift for a dear friend. You might be an antique porcelain collector. Or perhaps you just want to honour that precious moment of your morning tea when you contemplate the goodness of life.
I offer small gifts, extensive teasets, or valuable pieces of fine bone china. And if you decide to buy something I provide the story with each one on a nicely printed sheet.
Enjoy your object of beauty, and let the china rattle!