Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grandma's Teacup

Quite a few years ago now, my mother decided she was going to pass down a good portion of her teacups to my sisters and I.  She always had a story about where her dishes came from, and for the most part, I remembered what she told me.  "This bowl was used for shiny red apples on Christmas morning" ... "This vase was made by my mother's friend who used to work for Wedgewood in England" ... little snippets of family history, that really doesn't matter much, except to family.

Mom told me that teacups were a popular gift for young women.  They were inexpensive, pretty and a useful gift.  They were often given for birthdays and wedding showers in her circle of friends.  The day she showed me her teacups, they were lined up on the kitchen counter.  She wanted us to choose the teacups we would like to have.  I picked up this little teacup, "Gingham Rose" by Paragon to have a closer look.  I don't really remember anyone using this teacup.  The one I really wanted had been broken just a little while previous by two rambunctious dogs who took the moment when tea cups were sitting on a tippy little Indian table to go at each other, and the table was bumped, teacups flew up and crashed down (admittedly my dog caused the disaster).  It was a dark green teal with gold trim, and I always remember my dad drinking from that cup ... well, no longer :( 


Mom saw me admiring this teacup, and she told "My father gave this teacup to my mother as an anniversary gift one year".  A simple gift and a simple story.  I never met my grandfather.  He died of a heart attack long before I was born, before my parents even married. 


But from what my mother told me of him, I think we might have been friends.  He was a "bit of a naturalist" in the way he cared for animals.  He or his two sons would find wounded animals, bring them back to the farm and raise them.  The farm at one time had a pet crow and a pet great horned owl "Solomon".  He would take in any stray dog that needed a new home.  And my grandfather loved to read.


My grandfather was a market gardener and raised a variety of crops to sell at market on his small ten-acre plot of land.  Money was always tight, and my mother grew up during the Depression and a world war.  They lived on credit during the winter months, and paid up once the crops came in.  So when Mom told me this teacup was his gift to his wife one year, it touched my heart. 


This is the one that came home with me.  When I looked up "traditional anniversary gifts" on the internet, I find that china is the traditional gift to give for the 20th anniversary.  My grandparents, James & Violet were married in 1923 in Hamilton, Ontario. 



So Happy Anniversary to anyone celebrating their 20th today!
... and thank you for stopping by ;)
Wendy


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48 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous teacup! I thought giving silver was traditional for a 25th anniversary, that's what we got, but I would so much have preferred some pretty teacups!

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    1. Whooopsee!! I meant to say "20th" ... changed now ... thanks Annie :)

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  2. As always, it is a pleasure to join your tea party, Wendy! Both the story and the cup n' saucer are beautiful.My tea break is almost over, back to work
    Enjoy the warm day,....[ weather man said so] :) -Gaia

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    1. I'm glad you came by Gaia :) It's fairly hot & muggy out there now, will be able to enjoy it a bit this afternoon.

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  3. Oh is it that time of month again?? I love your tea cup... gingham rose is the perfect name for that pattern and it is gorgeous! I love the sentimentality that goes with our family treasures. And it has made through all of these years to tell these amazing stories. My husband said last weekend that the reason he keeps so many of his things is because they bring back memories he would otherwise never think of again if his things didn't remind him of it. I hope you are having a great tuesday!

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    1. I love these little stories too, but my kids never seem interested in them, and I wonder when the tales will die out. When I cleared out my parents house, I came to the same realization as your husband. My mother kept all of these things (both passed onto her and given as gifts) for so many years because they reminded her of the people who gave them to her, and the love that we all felt for her. I do the same thing ;) Enjoy your day ... nice & warm here!

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  4. My Mom has a collection of odd, one-off teacups and saucers - all pretty , none with a great story like this one. But they are dear, and will eventually come my way.

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    1. I was glad Mom passed the cups on before she died. It meant more to me to receive them with a few words about them, rather than just clearing them out of the house later.

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  5. This is such a gorgeous cup and saucer and a beautiful story to go with it. I am surrounded by my Grandparents memories and nik naks and gradually my kids are asking more and more questions about the things that they come across. Have a wonderful week. Chel x

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    1. It's always nice to have a few mementoes of our loved ones that have passed on.

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  6. It's lovely, Wendy. And what a nice story to go along with it. I absolutely love knickknacks and family heirlooms and the stories behind them. Thank you for sharing. :)

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    1. Thank you Jennifer ... you have some nice stories there too ;)

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  7. What a lovely story and such a pretty cup! I love the way you photographed it. I've got my Great Grandmother's teaset, and get it out and use it occasionally. There's something so special feeling about drinking tea from a pretty cup :-)
    Thanks for linking in!
    Sarah x

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    1. I have two very old and very fragile luncheon plates that I believe were my great grandmother's. Although one is chipped, I'm loathe to get rid of them.

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  8. Wendy your teacup is beautiful! I love the stories behind them! And your grandfather sounded like an outstanding man! The pattern and colors are just stunning! My grandmother collected teacups and I always admired them when I was child. So far I have inherited one...it means so much to me as well! I hope that your week is filled with wonderful things! Gorgeous pics too! Is that top shot your zinnias???

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    1. Thanks Nicole ... such sweet comments! I'll always love teacups, and remember my parents and their friends sitting around sipping tea in the afternoon. I had fun photographing this, and yes, it's my zinnia :)

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  9. a beautiful post Wendy, and such pretty china! I'll send you a long newsy email soon, I promise, just settling a new client in this week ...

    Love Claire xxx

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    1. Thanks Claire ... will look forward to it, but no rush ;) Enjoy your week!

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  10. That teacup is compelling, I can see why you were drawn to it. An unusual twist on the more common florals. Beautiful. But even more beautiful is its history. Teacups with stories to tell. True treasures.

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  11. What a lovely post!

    Beautiful photos...

    Sweet storied-memories...

    Oh please, will you record (in some way) the family stories, which go with many family articles? Please... Don't let them be forgotten, if you can help it.

    Tessa~

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  12. Anything handed down means so much more when there's a story attached to it, even a simple one like this teacup. You chose a pretty pattern and now have a connection to your late grandfather.
    I still have teacups I received at my wedding shower, so they were still a popular gift in the early 70's.
    Judith

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    1. I think I'll always love a pretty teacup!

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  13. The teacup is lovely. The pattern reminds me of cross-stitch. It's nice to here these type of family stories. My mom told me many while we were together this summer and I had every intention of writing them down so I wouldn't forget. My memory is awful. Her neighbor is 94 years old and had so many stories to tell -- I had just met her and didn't know anyone in her family but I still liked listening to her reminisce. :) Have a great day. Tammy

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    1. I always liked listening to my mother's stories too.

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  14. Oh I love, LOVE that teacup Wendy, thank you so much for sharing and for telling us your stories! I love the name "Violet" also... imagine the stories told while tea was drank many moons ago! Great piece of history to have xxx

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    1. Thank you Hazel ... I would love to know what everyone chatted about over tea and coffee ... if only the china could speak! Violet was also my mother's name ;)

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  15. love this, love the memory held within objects and adore that tea cup! great to find you through Hettie Brown and now following along. Loads of likes, hi's ad hugs from the flight platform xxxx xxxx

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    1. Hi Jane, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and thanks for following along :)

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  16. What a sweet little cup and saucer! The story makes it so wonderful....

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  17. I love your post, Wendy! The tea cup and saucer are absolutely beautiful, and what a nice story that goes with it :)

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  18. What a beautiful cup, saucer and and equally beautiful story to go with it Wendy.
    Love the idea that one cup and saucer meant so much - makes me appreciate our eclectic mish mash in our china cabinet!
    I keep thinking of all the information and tales that were passed along to me and whether I am transferring them...perhaps one day they will filter through!!
    Keep up the memory jogging!
    Ali x

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    1. Sometimes I wonder if my kids really care about the little stories. I was just the kind of kid to gobble up this stuff! Loved all the "farm tales" my mom would relate to me. Thank you for your other comments on previous posts Ali ... and Dad has healed up nicely now :)

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  19. I like things that have a story behind them. Your cup and saucer is beautiful on its own and more lovely with the background story.

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    1. I like the stories too ... thank you for visiting! :)

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  20. I remember this pattern! My mom has tons of these teacups. They're so beautiful and delicate - so not like me!!! lol

    Thank you for your very sweet comment on my sign. You're so right - printed words can make simple things so much more special.

    Happy Monday!

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    1. I usually have very 'rustic' tastes in home furnishings, so I find it rather odd that I really like pretty china. (but then my kitchen cupboards are full of hand-made pottery pieces too!)

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  21. Sept. 16th... Re: Your comment in my blog...

    Oh no, I so hope your/those "feelings," do not develop into a cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm carrying the "Have A Miserable Cold" Banner, now.

    No need for anyone else, to get one. :-))))

    Stay well!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tessa~

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  22. I believe I would have liked your grandfather too. Lovely stories you tell. :)

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  23. This was such a lovely post. I love pretty china and that pattern is simply beautiful.

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  24. What a stunning teacup and a very beautiful story of your Grandparents, truly lovely. Have a lovely week.

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  25. What a lovely story - and tea cup.

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it's nice to know when you've stopped by! :)

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