The Art Of Collecting Vintage Tea Cups


A lot of people started collecting vintage tea cups because they had them given to them as gifts from a family member. Eventually they create their own antique tea sets matching the designs, colors and history. And because they are all so different once you learn how to examine tea cups you just can’t stop.

Antique Teacup Collecting - The Design And Detail of The Saucer

So where does one begin collecting with all the beautiful designs and history to choose from? It can be overwhelming however the best part is that vintage tea cups are not a terribly expensive to collect. And if you’re just starting out it isn’t that expensive to make an impressive display of them on a shelf at home.

Vintage tea cup appraisal isn’t easy, it helps to have an expert to price them, however here are some tips to get you started and to help you narrow down your search so you know what to look for. Let’s get started.

How To Collect Antique Tea Cups

1. Pick colors and patterns you like. I know this seems obvious however if you aren’t excited by the design and details, move on.

2. Antique Teacups are usually narrower or taller than newer teacups within 2.5″ height and 3.5″ width.

3. Bone China, or Porcelain? Bone China is bone ash with clay mixed with other ingredients, it has a clear shiny finish and an almost translucent white color. Porcelain is fired in intense heat and has a glassy translucent quality and it is the original ‘China’ however, Bone China is the most durable of the two.

4. Does the cup match the saucer? Don’t be fooled, sometimes a seller has misplaced their saucer and it doesn’t match the cup. Check that the cup fits the saucer and look for similarities in design or patterns.

5. Mix and Match. It is nice to find an entire collection of antique teacups however if there one spectacular looking cup it is okay to mix and match your teacup collection with singles.

6. Check the bottom of the cup and saucer for dates and hand panted details. If there are hand painted numbers or markings there is a good chance the cup is quite old.

7. And tea tastes better from a proper teacup, so don’t just look at them use them!

Antique Teacup Collecting - Check The Bottom Of The Cup

Antique Teacup Collecting – Check The Bottom Of The Cup

Once you have a small collection it is also a great excuse to have party. Why not have a few of your closest friends over, offer something sweet, and let the girl talk begin!

We hope you find some really great vintage teacups, remember to buy what you like, collecting teacups is a labour of love.

More Vintage Articles

1. What Type of Vintage Hunter Are You?

2. Mom’s Top 5 Tips For Finding Great Antiques

3. Ever Considered a Vintage Vacation?


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