25 December 2011

Festivus Continues!

Clear and cold the day dawned today in our region, with plentiful frost below and a magnificent sky above -- a very nice beginning to this Festivus Day! We just passed the Solstice, then it was on to Hanukkah, Christmas, the advent of Kwanzaa, and it's nearly Tet and our Gregorian New Year... golly whose festival have I missed? Please do not take offense if I skipped mentioning your favorite celebration -- it's just that there are so many holidays on the books right now that even I, Tea Maven to the Stars, get muddled. Happy Everything, Everybody!! Much love, and tea, and excellent health and cozy abundance to you all.

Trixie set me up a swell Festivus breakfast tray today, as you can see in the pics at left... clementines, Friend-made cookies, and sweets of many kinds, ooh la la! And she found me this groovy antique cup and saucer set by Copeland Spode, in the much-loved India Tree {Rust} pattern, which I am so honored to accept as a present today. India Tree comes in a wealth of variations and has been made by oodles of potteries -- originally by Coalport -- so many that it can stagger even a venerable tea maven... but this set is Copeland Spode and of very fine quality, so I am feeling very pampered and adored by Trix today. Thank you to the always-treating tea maiden!

Most India Tree (also called Indian Tree or Tree of India by other potteries) has a black transfer base design with multicolored enamels hand-painted thereon... this also has a black transfer base decoration, but with a palette of hand-painted vermillion, deep red, and tan luster enamels to fill in the pattern. Cup and saucer are both edged in the deep red enamel, and the effect suggests an Indian Paisley, rather than the more Chinese-looking multicolor version (you might sense and describe it very differently, but this is how it strikes me, dear ones).

Because today is Christmas Day, it seemed right and good to splash out the reds! Red denotes auspicious beginnings in some cultures, and we like that a lot, besides it adds another layer to the meaning of the cup and saucer today. Layer it on, people! That's what tea time is all about, say we.

I'm not altogether sure the saucer and cup are from the same set -- the well of the saucer indicates a different cup, the shape with a wider diameter and a squat circular pedestal foot, whereas this cup is smaller and has no foot* -- either way, tea tastes great from it and both pieces cheer me immensely (another thing that tea time is all about!). I just love the tan luster enamel, it catches and amplifies the light so subtly and warmly... they thought of everything, those Stoke-on-Trent potters.

Did you know that on our Facebook page you can not only post comments (which we LOVE), but you can, if you wish, post photographs? Absolutely. Trix and I really want to know what you get up to when drinking tea, so please consider sharing pics with us when the mood strikes you.

Raising my lovely new-to-me cup in your honor today, lovelies, and wishing you every good thing today and always,
xo, Dustin {with a wave from Trixie}

* additional research shows me that multiple cup shapes/sizes were matched with the same saucer. Hmm.


  1. A very beautiful cup and breakfast. What a treat for you!

  2. Dustin, that is a perfect pattern for fall and winter. And I always love it when a bit of the design is carried over into the inside of the cup.

  3. I agree with you, Jean and Marilyn, and thank you both for stopping by separately to admire and comment -- most appreciated!

    I prefer this red version of India Tree to every other, even to the more famous (and original) Coalport multi-color version -- do not get me wrong, I find them *all* beautiful! -- but I love this version best of all, with its coppery luster and Autumnal hues... that extra glow of light reflected up from these dishes on the tea table makes for a congenial atmosphere indeed.

    Best wishes, and best tea, to you!
    xo, Dustin