A Passion For Vintage Teacups

Collecting these beautiful vintage teacups is a fun and addictive hobby.

Vintage Teacups - Royal Stafford Berkeley RosePhoto: Debbie Wright
A Royal Stafford, Berkeley Rose—Debbie’s first teacup.

Ten years ago, a friend gave me a box of teacups and in it was a Royal Stafford, Berkeley Rose teacup, with three white roses outlined in gold on the handle. I thought it was so unique, I researched it on the Internet and discovered it was from the 1950s. I also found out that there were many different types of floral handles from that time period. I thought I might like to have a few more. Little did I know it would turn into such a large collection.

My next cup came from the local second-hand shop, a Royal Winton that turned out to be a brocade chintz cup that only cost me five dollars—what a great find! I was hooked.

Vintage Teacups CollectionPhoto: Debbie Wright
Debbie’s collection of butterfly-handled cups.

Where I find my vintage teacups

Vintage teacups can be hard to find, but over the years, I’ve collected more than 40 in all. Some I found at antique shops, others were gifts and still others I collected during my travels. The best buys were always at second-hand shops.

I received my first butterfly-handled cup and saucer as a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. It was a vintage hand-painted Japanese teacup, which I treasure. Since then, I have found four other cups with butterfly handles.

Peacock Handled TeacupPhoto: Debbie Wright
A rare vintage peacock-handled, hand-painted Royal Grafton.

Teacups as souvenirs

I’ve come across quite a few vintage teacups on my travels. I found one at an antique store in Orville, Ontario. It was a Grindley art deco, hand-painted, poppy-handled teacup. Another I bought while visiting my brother in Prince Edward Island; that one is a rare vintage peacock-handled, hand-painted Royal Grafton teacup and saucer. While in Salamanca, New York, my husband spotted a different cup, a Franz Porcelain Camellia teacup; the cup is the flower and the handle is a stem with buds. I had to bargain hard to get that one, as I won’t pay more than $35 for vintage teacups and saucers.

I’ve collected cups featuring all types of flowers including roses, tiger lilies, pansies, geraniums and poppies. I have others featuring butterflies, a peacock, a parrot, an eagle and a mermaid.

Luckily, I only find one or two a year now as my china cabinet is pretty full. Then again, who knows what I’ll find in the coming years? I might just need a bigger china cabinet!

Next, check out the fascinating story behind Canada’s own Blue Mountain Pottery.

Originally Published in Our Canada