Skip to main content

Tea, Taxes and Transferware

In 1784 the import tax on tea was reduced.  This was wonderful news for the middle class and less wealthy people as it made tea drinking affordable to them.  Unfortunately, the tax on silver was increased at the same time.  The combination of these two factors substantially increased the demand for ceramic tea services.  Transferware had just been invented and was in the very early years of production.  Some of the most beautiful and collectible transferware teapots were made during this period and well into the 20th century.

Today I am joining Lady Katherine Tea Parlor for a tea, Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally, Rhoda at Southern Hospitality,  Rondi's Tea Party Tuesday,   Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life and The Gypsy's Corner for Three or more Tuesday.    I'm serving a spiced tea and cinnamon swirl bread with honey butter. 

I served my tea in an English transferware teapot by J & G Meakin in the Gainsborough pattern.  It's a pretty blue transfer with fruits and flowers. 

I chose the Charlotte pattern by Royal Staffordshire to compliment the teapot and teacups.  Charlotte is a lovely pattern depicting a Victorian basket filled flowers.  On the tray below, I've used a Charlotte creamer and open sugar bowl.

I used a vintage white table cloth with white flowers and blue embroidery.

I don't have fresh flowers so I put some pink silk roses in an antique silver, double handled vase.  I love the look of these old silver pieces, even when they obviously could stand to be shined. 

Isn't this a lovely toast rack?  It's also in the Charlotte pattern and holds two slices of toast and has small bowls attached at each side for jam and butter.   These are also great for bill sorting and holding small office supplies like paperclips.

I bought the crystal lamp at a garage sale a few years back for $1.50!  

A Quote for your Thoughts:
Much of the character of every man may be read in his house. ~John Ruskin


  1. Beautiful the toast holder. What a deal you got on the little crystal light.

  2. Another beautiful teaset!I love the tray too.


  3. I have never seen a toast holder or a tray like that but they are very pretty. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Just beautiful. Great tablecloth. The toast holder is amazing, all of mine are reproductions or just new.

    - The Tablescaper

  5. Just lovely! I love your tranferware Tea set! The toast rack is so wonderful! The first one I seen that has side for jam and butter! The cloth is so beautiful! Love the lamp and the silver with flowers. Such a lovely setting! I love your table too! Thank you so much for joining me for Tea Time Tuesday. I just love your Tea and your show and tell with all the lovely pieces you have collected.

  6. My Mr. Linky went away can you come back and link your post to Tea Time Tuesday. So Sorry

  7. This is a beautiful tea time table. Everything is lovely. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Lia

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog.. and thanks for the invite to come see your blog! Oh my! I think I have bought from you on ebay and yikes! In trouble now you have a Etsy store!?..How can you part with all those lovelies?! Hmm maybe you can help me..Been looking for a transferware plate with rabbits..Will add you to my bloglist! I'll be back!Debra

  9. Nancy, thats one of the most beautiful tea sets I've ever seen amd oh my goodness a toast holder- wow.. Every little detail makes it the perfect setting. You better be glad I dont live close by or I'd be swiping that table you used:-) Elegant and welcoming, doesnt get better than that.. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  10. Beautiful transferware tea set! I love the history lesson with the tea party also!!!

  11. Thanks for sharing your lovely tea service. The table is beautiful.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  12. Your transferware is beautiful! I have been eyeing your Etsy dishes--they are calling my name.

  13. What an interesting story - I'd never heard that about the tax on silver and tea! Love learning tid-bits like this!

  14. Beautiful table but I love anything blue and white! What a great place for tea. I love the toast rack (haven't seen one with the jam/butter dishes attached) -- my DH loves to call them toast "coolers" --

    Great tea!

  15. The tea set and toast rack are wonderful, and I love the silver flower container (I'd have thought the roses were real if you hadn't said they were silk!). The vintage embroidered cloth is perfect ... so beautiful, crisp, and fresh-looking. Nicely done!


  16. Oh this is just so lovely. I love transferware of all kinds and this pattern is just stunning. I also appreciated the history of transferware, I didn't know that. Such a pretty tablescape and the tablecloth is fabulous too. Thanks so much for joining the party. I have so enjoyed your table today. Hugs, Marty

  17. Nancy darling, I stumbled upon your blog and while here, I enjoyed my visit and taking afternoon tea with you very much. Your blog is loaded with interesting posts and lovely photos. I have joined your followers, and will return often to visit with you.

    Love & Hugs

  18. unbelievable dishes you have. enjoyed the history lesson too

  19. enjoyed the history lesson along with your unbelievably beautiful transferware.

  20. Hi Nancy
    I am so glad you joined the tea party! I love your china. I am not familiar with that pattern called Charlotte but since I live in Charlotte I am definitely going to be on the lookout for it. ANd I love the littel toast rack. Now about that hands in your banner phot...I want it!!

  21. Nancy,
    Thanks for posting on my blog. Love the transferware. I have some pieces, myself. The house on the front page of my blog is our 1939 Cape Cod home. The original blueprints for the home came from Better Homes and Gardens.

  22. I just love blue and white dishes. Your tea setting is beautiful!


  23. Your table looks so inviting, and what a steal you got with that gorgeous lamp :)

  24. What a lovely tea set. I also love your beautiful tablecloth. I'd be honored to have tea with you any day!

  25. Nancy darling thanks so much for visiting my cottage and for joining my followers, much appreciated. I am looking forward to taking tea with you weekly. See you next Tuesday if not sooner.

    Love & Hugs

  26. Nancy,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment...this allowed me to discover your beautiful blog of which I am now a follower!

  27. Nancy, this is the most lovely and charming table setting. I love the blue & white, it's just beautiful! And what a sweet little lamp you picked up for a song that goes perfectly with the setting. May I PLEASE come over to your house for tea? :)


  28. The old silver looks so lovely with the blue and white tea set!

  29. This is all very, very pretty! I really like Transferware!

    I haven't seen a toast rack like that, neat!


  30. Nancy,
    Your tea set is lovely. I especially like your toast holder, how neat. Your little wicker table is wonderful too! What a nice tea.

  31. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! I have just fallen in love with everything on this pretty little table!
    That lamp is so soft & glowing...what a bargain!
    I have learned a great deal since discovering your pretty blog. Very informative post, as always.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge & your pretties!


  32. Your tea set is lovely. I love how even the tray matches your tea pot. Blue and white transferware is a favorite of mine. Love the toast rack, too. Your tablecloth is so crisp. I know it's hard to iron linen.

  33. I just love all of these beautiful pieces but I must say that tablecloth really caught my's stunning!

    Best wishes,

  34. Nancy, I love your beautiful tea set!!! It is so very, very pretty. You've made a lovely setting for tea. Nice tablecloth too. Your blog is great! Thanks for sharing the link about transferware. I am anxious to read more about it. Have a great Monday!

  35. What a perfect table setting! Happy blue Monday!

  36. A beautiful table setting. I adore that vintage tablecloth. It looks so pristine!

  37. Beautiful pieces you've collected! Thanks for sharing.

  38. Beautiful setting you have there! Love the transferware! Marla

  39. Love your collection of transferware. I collect some transferware. The Yeddo pattern. Love the interior design of your home. Stunning!

  40. Luv your toast holder and vintage tablecloth!


  41. Hi Nancy, I live in Australia and just recently came across a blue and cream transfer ware Maling oversized cup and saucer (possibly 1920) with an oriental pattern on it. I cannot find anything like it on the web currently and am wondering if you could tell me if these are common or rare and an approximate value? thanks for any assistance with my search, kind regards Jess

  42. HI Nancy, I requested some information if possible regarding the oversized cup and saucer Maling blue and cream. My return email address is


Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.

Popular posts from this blog

English Cottage Living Room - Before, Partly After & Still a Work in Progress

I am sorry for not posting more pictures of the progress we've made settling into this new (to us) home.   It seems life rushes by so fast and that at times, doing little things, even those that I love and enjoy, often get pushed aside and onto the back shelf of my mind where I tell myself, "I'll get to this later".  Well, it is later and though I don't have as much to share with you as I'd like, I'm going to at least share my favorite spot in our living room.  I promise to show the rest of the room soon but for now the opposite half of the living room has been occupied by my daughters boyfriend who has been staying with us for the past 7 or so weeks until his apartment is ready for him to move into, and so the couch is usually made up for him to sleep on!  

Here is a photo of the current living room just as we found it, a small room just off the entry of the house with a nice marble and wood fireplace surround, hard wood floors, beautiful crown moulding a…

More Traditional Red White & Blue Rooms with Transferware

A couple of weeks ago I shared some pictures of beautiful rooms in red and blue color schemes decorated with transferware.    Here is another roundup of rooms that I adore, all with red and blue color schemes and all with transferware! 

 (via Traditional Home)
(via enchanted home)

(my old living room)

Joining some of the following parties:
Between Naps on The Porch
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

The History of Johnson Brothers and The Friendly Village Tablescape

Last week, Shawn and I popped into a couple of estate sales and I picked up over 100 pieces of Johnson Brother's The Friendly Village.  I think I may have to hang on to 12 of the dinner plates and use them this year at Thanksgiving but the rest of them, including this 48 piece service for 8, will be you know where.
I don't know about you all, but I have had enough of Summer and I am down right ready for the cooler temperatures of Autumn.  I've been doing a lot of rearranging around the house….I'm in one of those zones where I've got a zillion projects going on, even if half of them are just in my mind that I'm contemplating!   We've also been moving kids out and around.  Three of them are out and the three still at home are moving or rearranging their rooms around.   
Since I am yearning for Fall, haven't posted any tablescapes in a while and just got these Friendly Village pieces I decided to set the table with them.  
Oh great, I just realized that I lef…

Decorating with Brown Transferware & $100 GIVEAWAY

Brown was introduced as a transferware color around 1829-30 and is the least expensive of colors to make. Therefore it is fairly common, so far as transferware goes, to find.  It is also one of the most collected colors and it is probably the most versatile of colors in my opinion.  Brown is neutral and looks good with any color scheme from pastels to rich jewel tones, but it is with the ushering in of Autumn that I see it popping up in home decor and vignettes the most.  Though, most of these rooms and vignettes are decorated with brown pieces year round, it just seems the perfect time to share them.  I may have to do another post because there are so, so many more equally beautiful spaces that have incorporated the use of displaying brown transferware and I can't fit them all here.
So, check these lovelies out and then stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
This vignette just stole my heart the first time I saw it.  So many of us have vintage luggage in our homes…

The Aesthetic Movement and Transferware

What is the Aesthetic Movement?
The Aesthetic Movement refers to a period of time in the late 19th century (1870-1900) which was a backlash to the formal Victorian years. 
Artists and writers of the Aesthetic movement period maintained the belief that art should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages.  They believed that art did not have any didactic purpose; it need only be beautiful. 
Japanese art had a great influence on Aestheticism. Aesthetic interiors were often decorated with Japanese prints, screens, fans and other objects. An appreciation of the art of Japan is seen in the work of many Aesthetic artists and designers such as James McNeill Whistler and E.W. Godwin.
photo credit Country Living

The Aesthetes developed the cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor in art. They ascertained that life should copy art and considered nature as crude and lacking in design in comparison. Th…

Decorating with Blue Transferware and a GIVEAWAY!

If you haven't already been over to Enchanted Home, you'll want to go over after you finish this post because the wonderful Tina, who authors the incredibly gorgeous blog,  has a great post up about decorating with dishes plus she's hosting a giveaway to my online shop, English Transferware!  Details at the end of the post!
I know Tina loves blue and white (just look at her header and you'll know!) and has a collection of her own. In honor of Tina, I've decided to share some of my favorite images of rooms decorated with and often around blue transferware collections.  You can see more rooms decorated with blue transferware on my Pinterest board.

To me, Charles Faudree is just about as synonymous with English transferware as he his with French Country Decorating...he seemed to always find a use for it in his incredibly detailed decorating schemes.  Isn't this bedroom charming?

I love this next image from Decor Magazine.  Look how the blue pieces are hung directly o…

Children and Their Pet Rabbits ~ Antique Oil Paintings

Have you ever known a child to resist a bunny rabbit?  They're so adorable.   It seems that at some time we've all had as our own, or known someone who had, or bought for our children, a pet rabbit.  I remember surprising Michael, Ethan and Jonah (before our other three came along) with rabbits one year at Easter.  I determined that, for us, owning pet rabbits was a better thought than idea...but that's another story.   
Nonetheless, children and their pet rabbits have long time been a favorite subject of painters. Though I am more keen to having a painting of an animal than actually having an animal, I can't resist the charm and pure innocence in the paintings I'm sharing here.   I adore each of these beautiful works of arts, and I hope you do as well.

The Favourite Rabbit, by John Russell (1745-1806)
Feeding The Rabbits by German artist Heinrich Hirt (1841-1902)

Children Feeding Rabbits by Joseph Moseley Barber
Little Girl with Rabbit by Hermann Kaulbach 
I have this p…