It is somewhat dreary today. Cold, but at least it's above zero degrees for a change. And it is raining which means that the thaw has hopefully arrived.
So what better way to spend a rainy, grey, drab afternoon than to spice things up with a little bit of true confessions?
Mind you it wasn't my fault - originally. It was that Portuguese temptress who got me hooked...
It was Catherine of Braganza who (it is said) introduced the drinking of tea into England and which led to my addiction because I confess that not only am I an avid tea drinker but am also a collector of teapots...
Would you like to see some of them?
(I thought you would never ask!)
I collect all sorts but today I thought I would share three of my silver teapots - well, when I say 'silver' I actually mean one sterling silver one, and two silver plated sisters:
These three are among my favourites.
This first one is a solid silver teapot from the year 1816:
AGA bought it for me when I had passed my first university exam. It was made in London and has a fruit wood handle. Originally it had a clumsy-looking silver finial but I replaced it with this wooden one of the period, which is more in keeping with the objet. I love this teapot. The gadroons are super and the curl on the handle is most satisfying. It is such a pleasure pouring tea from this beautiful pot.
Next up is this beautiful 1850s, gourd-shaped one, only recently purchased:
Silver plated. This is a luxurious, fat, pear-shaped beauty with a jaunty bohemian air. The finial is solid silver but I am not certain that it is original. It was made by Sturges in the late 1850s.
Its owner were not great ones for polishing and as a result it has retained most of its silver-plating. I have a feeling that it spent a lot of its life packed away somewhere.
The interior is unfortunately too dirty and stained to allow me to use it for tea-making. Thus far it has resisted my efforts to clean it out but I shall persist. Any suggestions on the best method?
Number three is another interesting one:
This teapot is also silver plated and dates back to at least 1878. It is a handsome, sleek pot with an incised willow-pattern design. There is something rather dignified about this teapot. It would sit primly on any respectable tea table and interestingly, it has never been used.And here is the reason:
Mr. Thomas Watson won this teapot at the 1878 Edinburgh Christmas Club Show. He won second prize in the 'Shorthorn or Cross-bred Dairy Cow' category.
Clearly Mr Watson was very proud of this teapot. It was polished with vigour on a regular basis and has lost some of its silver plating in places. I presume that it spent its days sitting quietly in a cabinet or on the dresser. I haven't had the heart to use it either because although I am now the custodian of this lovely work, Mr. Watson might not approve.
So there they are, three of my teapot collection:
All that is needed now is to have a cup of tea!
Thank you Catherine of Braganza, Queen of England, I salute you for introducing tea drinking into my life.