Acquiring a fine teacup



Vintage-Shelley-Art Deco cup - apple green, black and white

 Shelly Art Deco saucer and cup




Seeking a new teaset : 


I’m currently in the market for some new teacups. The last one standing is shown below, the set lasting over 15 years. Their durability surprised me, you could barely feel the weight of the fine Japanese translucent porcelain when you lifted the Art Deco cup. It is getting promoted to the cabinet in recognition of its long service. I’ve had to avoid inviting anyone for a cuppa, as it would be slightly awkward having to share the same cup, or I could, shock horror, resort to using mugs. Mock elitist indignation aside, the occasional indulgence of tea from a teacup is a worthy act of reverence for the great beverage.

Serving tea or coffee is usually the final act of any dinner so its only appropriate to use a fine tea set to round off the occasion in style. Despite coffee having more caffeine and being more addictive, I think tea drinkers are probably more fanatical, having a rich tradition of serving rituals and having a much greater variety to choose from that offer an enticing array of captivating flavors… Ok, I’m slightly biased being a devoted tea drinker. The elaborate tea drinking ceremonies, especially in Japan, are particularly detailed down to how the tea is stirred.

My choice for a new set is basically fine porcelain, no floral decoration or gold trim, only two colours and a wide diameter rim so the tea cools more rapidly. I’m showing some of the cups I saw while searching, with full admiration for their fine craftsmanship.




Japanese porcelain translucent cup and saucer - orange and pink on white Art Deco styling

Japanese Art Deco cup





Footed cup with abstract decoration –  John Maltby




1930s Art Deco Coffee Set Soho Pottery Ambassador Ware England - Palm Tree Pattern


1930s Art Deco Coffee/Tea Set with Palm Tree Pattern

Pottery Ambassador Ware England

Wicksteads Etsy (sold)





 Art Deco teapot and sugar bowl – Nora Gulbrandsen for Porsgrund Porselen, Norway



Gisela-Francisco flickr stack of purple cups

Purple cups  – Gisela Francisco



Shiro Hagi Chawan by Shibuya Deishi




 Small Art Nouveau tea cup




 Victorian Foley Wileman Tea cup and Saucer




Art Deco Geometric Trio,-Handpainted Grosvenor China Kelly Green, Mint and Cream-Cup-Saucer-Teaplate-1933

Geometric Art Deco  Trio – handpainted Grosvenor China cup, saucer and teaplate.




Art-Deco-teapot orange,black,yellow and blue

 Art Deco teapot



Russian Lomonosov Balley-Coffee-Cup-and-Saucer

Lomonosov ‘Balley’ cup and saucer




Bertozzi e Casoni, Imolarte, Cup set - footed contemporary styled cup

Footed contemporary styled cup- ‘Imolarte’ –  Bertozzi e Casoni



Butterfly-Conical-Teapot,-Clarice-Cliff - art deco

 Art Deco Conical Butterfly Teapot, Clarice Cliff




Carved  Capodimonte cup and saucer.

Italy, Circa 1750





 Chinese porcelain faceted teapot




Cup flared on a pedestal-and-saucer-octagonal-white-porcelain-decorated-with-blue-flowers-accented-with-gold-1925

 Porcelain flared cup with a gold handle and pedestal – Louis Sue and Andre Mare



Art deco-noritake sugar bowl in green-sllver and gold

 Noritake Art Deco sugar bowl




Function-Dk-blue-optical-Jonathan Middlemiss black and white tea set

Black and white coffee/tea set – Jonathan Middlemiss





Contemporary cup and plate – Paul Scott & Ann Linnemann collaboration

 The porcelain forms are hand thrown and glazed by Ann in her studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Paul creates the graphic then screen-prints in-glaze ceramic decals in his studio in Blencogo, Cumbria, England.

Anne Linnemann Studio Gallery



Hans Vangso_yunomi

 Hans Vangso



Helene-Morbu contemporary cups in blue

 Helene Morbu




Crackle glaze tea cup –  Somayaki Somaware, Japan



Karin Bjorquist tea set for Gustavsberg - black and white diamond pattern

 Karin Bjorquist tea set for Gustavsberg




Blue Lapis-Lazuli-Teapot from the Miseroni lapidary workshops.

 Antonis Minor tea pot in lapis lazuli with gold trimmings, by Dionysio, grandson of Ottavio Miseroni.

Miseroni lapidary workshops, Milan





 Laurel Birch




Green-retro-coffee-set Stavangerflint, made in Norway

 Mid Century incised green retro tea set  – Stavangerflint, made in Norway

Old & Cold etsy



Crimson Laurel Gallery-Andrew Gilliatt-Mug

Andrew Gilliatt

 Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC.



White Lenox Belleek deco sterling overlay demitasse cups and saucer

Art deco sterling overlay demitasse cups and saucer – Belleek Pottery



Japanese Lithophane-Tea-Set-by-ProsperiTea

 Japanese Satsuma Lithophane porcelain Tea Set

Prosperi Tea



Lomonosov Russian teacup and saucer - blue, white and gold

Russian Lomonosov  teacup and saucer




Ben Owen-III by American Museum of Ceramic Art,-via-Flickr

Tea set by Ben Owen III

American Museum of Ceramic Art, via Flickr




Tea Bowl by Robin Welch

 Robin Welch tea bowl
 Handpainted in a rich Cubist colourful pattern

Susie Cooper-  Hand painted rich Art Deco Cubist pattern coffee/tea set; c. 1928.




Geometric Mondrian Tea-Pot

 Mondrian Tea Pot





China Tea Cup & Saucer –  Paragon





 Contemporary tea set – Paul Eshelman, Elizabeth, Illinois





 Pink Lusterware Gold Pedestal China Japan Tea Cup Reticulated Saucer Set





Rare Royal Doulton Art Deco Trio-in Tango Pattern

Tango Pattern Art Deco trio tea set –  Royal Doulton, UK




Rick Rudd NZ contemporary red ceramic tea pot

 Red ceramic abstract teapot – Rick Rudd, NZ




Rosenthal-Versace gold wing and white teacup

 Rosenthal Versace teacup and saucer




Royal Halsey Teacup and Saucer-Layla Blackshear-fkickr Turquoise with gold highlights

 Royal Halsey Teacup and Saucer

Layla Blackshear-fkickr




Nippon demitasse cup and saucer

Nippon Art Nouveau demitasse cup and saucer




Black and white Royal-Doulton-Art-Deco-TANGO-tea-set-tea-for-two

 Royal Doulton Art Deco Tango pattern tea set




Royal-Paragon art deco teacup amd saucer

 Art Deco teacup and saucer – Royal Paragon




Roy Lichtenstein dinnerware set in black and white

 Dinnerware Objects  Roy Lichtenstein






 RW-Bavaria, Germany




Contemporary Sucabaruca tea set by Luca Nichetto

 Sucabaruca tea set  by Luca Nichetto





 Tennis set for tea and a biscuit

Muchos Tesoros – Etsy





The  Miito by Nils Chudy

MIITO is an innovative product that heats liquids directly in the vessel to be used, hence eliminating the heating of excess water. Simply fill your cup with water, place it onto the induction base and immerse the rod in the liquid.





 Dame Edna’s tea drinking etiquette – “when in doubt, pinky out”.




Tuscan teacup and saucer





Rometti Art Deco Futurist tea/saki set

Umbertide, Italy




Shelly Art Deco moth wing cup and saucer




Japan Kato-Kogei-Memphis-Era-Set

Japanese Kato Kogei neo Art Deco teaset




teapot-by-maa Teapot with wooden handle and tea bowls

Teapot with wooden handle and tea bowls by Maa



ItalyTeaset Pucci-Umbertide---1930

Pucci, Rometti futurist teaset, Italy





Lomonosov Teapot-'Legend Return'---Contemporary- Porcelain

‘Legend Return’ – Lomonosov Contemporary Porcelain Teapot




aLba-dociLia--Albisola 1930

Albisola teaset, Italy




CARRARESI-&-LUCCA---Sesto Fiorentino---CERAMIC-airbrushed-YEARS-'30---'40

Airbrushed teacup – Carraressi & Lucca

Sesto Fiorentino, Italy




Early-cup-by-Ken Price-on-artnet

Ken Price




Art Deco Bubbles Royal Worcester coffee set -look of clarice cliff susie cooper

Art Deco Bubbles Royal Worcester coffee set





Tea bowl – Peter Voulkos




Black Oriental Glaze Handbuilt Porcelain Teapot Kathy Riggs

Oriental Glaze Handbuilt Porcelain Teapot by Kathy Riggs





Crown Ducal Art Deco Teacup



Limoges-art-deco-tea set with futurist patterns

French Art Deco tea set – Limoges





Royal Sealy tea cup



Vintage-purple on white-tea-cup

Detailed purple lace pattern on white cup and saucer



sandoz-service-complete in white, orange and black art deco

Birdy tea set – Sandoz




Lemon tea cup and saucer – Shelly



Young girl drinking from a Ochamori-'Big-Tea'-at-Saidaiji-temple-in-Nara

 Ochamori ‘Big Tea’ at Saidaiji Temple in Nara, Japan



Jeroen-Bechtold white contemporary ceramic tes set

Jeroen Bechtold contemporary tea set




Morning tea in feathered hat  – Dorothea shot by William Klein





Octagonal Geometric Tea Service with Kandinsky inspired motif

French Limoges Art deco

c 1925




Deep orange and gold teacup – Coalport



Carstens Uffrecht-ModeloRio-1935

 ‘Rio’ tea service – Carstens Uffrecht




Two blue and white-teacups with drip glaze

Ombre Drip Ceramic Cup and Saucer Set in Blues and White

Artmika Etsy




Rosenthal lavender and gold teacup with violets motif




Turquoise and Gold Scalloped Footed Tea Cup – Alka Kunst Kronach






  1. Gale Parrish
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I have a set of brightly colored Coffee set which is enamel on inside, and Hand painted on out side. I would like to know if they are from Italy, or Old Mexico. Can you help me?

  2. van
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Great article! Thank you! I have a passion for the avant garde of art deco ceramics & you’ve found some nice pieces. Actually i stumbled on this article while doing research about a coffee service i own that i’m planning to sell. I know it’s very rare, but i can’t find info about prices for anything similiar – it’s the Shelley yellow star pattern in their ‘dainty star’ shape…..

  3. Mitul Prajapati
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I am Mitul Prajapati
    Prajapati handicrafts in Thangadh in Gujrat ( India).

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