Tea sets are the perfect gift for anyone who loves a good cup of Tea. An antique tea set is the kind of thing that can make a house feel like a home, especially if the homeowners are collectors of teapots. Antique silver tea sets are among the most collected types of antique collectables, coming in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Today, we’re taking a look at antique tea sets and going over the different kinds you’re likely to find.
The Basic Teapots
The basics you’re going to find in any antique tea set can be boiled down to three pieces. Teapots, sugar bowls, and cream jugs are the bare bones of any decent tea set. You can use the trio to serve a group of any size, making it something of an essential for anyone interested in starting their own collection.
If you like antiques from a specific era, representing certain styles, then you should consider expanding your collection to include a tea set. Since the 1650s, tea has been consumed in England, and it became a widely-celebrated drink by the late 17th century. This means that antique tea sets in all styles have been made for more than 300 years now.
If you know where to look, you’ll find tea sets that fit the bill of being antique and stylistic. For example, Queen Anne style tea sets are a popular choice for people who like traditional antiques.
Equally, those looking for something completely timeless that would seem modern today can find what they’re looking for by searching for tea sets from the Art Deco period. Stretching from the 1920s to the 1940s, Art Deco antiques are sleek and sophisticated. I love Art Deco Teapots like the one pictured below. Stunning and silver.
Larger Tea Sets
We’ve established that there are three mainstays when it comes to tea sets – even antique ones – but now it’s time to get excited about the extras that come along when you decide to go antique.
It is true that even modern tea sets can have more than three pieces, but there are certain additions that you are much less likely to find today that were decadent accompaniments in their own times. For example, you might find a four-piece tea set with a slop bowl if you choose to shop antique. Slop bowls were in wide use right up until the mid-20th century, when tea-drinking in general became a far less formal event.
The slop bowl was a bowl designed for discarding the leftover tea you didn’t want to drink, whether it be because it has gone cold or just tastes bitter. Once you’ve discarded, you can refill your teacup with fresh tea; no trips to the kitchen needed. This is a great accessory for those who want to serve a lot of people in an outdoor setting or anywhere else where back-and-fourth, to and from the kitchen would be too inconvenient.
Tea and Coffee Sets
As you can imagine, coffee houses of the 18th and 19th centuries often got pretty busy with customers who liked both caffeinated beverages. Since this was the case, you’re sure to find a lot of Victorian tea sets that features teapots and coffee pots. Unlike the modern cafetiere of today, these coffee pots were for pouring brewed coffee rather than for brewing it first. Although, some examples can be found where the coffee pot is like a percolator, letting it be first brewed, and then poured.
An antique tea and coffee service, complete with sugar bowl and cream jug, is the ideal modern-day tea set; giving your guests options that they are sure to appreciate. Another time of antique tea set that had huge popularity with the Victorians and Edwardians both was the tea and chocolate pot set. Imagine serving up some refreshing tea alongside some piping hot cocoa in an antique set – you’re well on your way to a Dickens novel!
Whether you’re an avid tea-drinker, an antiques collector, or just an appreciator of the fine arts, antique tea sets are something we can all agree are beautiful and practical. Consider one for your next event; effortlessly elevating the occasion – and providing some great refreshments too! Teapots are truly charming.