I normally drink coffee or tea out of a great big, hulking mug, the bigger the better, one which holds probably four times what these little cups hold. But I like these smaller ones. And I've always agreed with the idea that beautiful things shouldn't just be locked away. I've already been using a few of the mismatched sugar bowls that came with the collection in my sewing room, because they make such sweet little holders for safety pins and bobbins. So why not use the cups now and then?
Today I pulled this one out.
Royal Albert Bone China, and what do you know, you can buy it at various antique dealers online. There was even someone selling one on Etsy. Rare or not, I think it's gorgeous. Look at the little whirligig of a handle.
I guess it's nice to know that if I break it, I can replace it. But I'm going to try really hard not to.
And here's the other side:
And the saucer:
These cups haven't been used in a very long time - my grandmother died in the early 1970s and was in a nursing home for years prior to that, and for most of my childhood they were displayed in a china cabinet but never used. But at least some of them were used once, and used heavily, I think. One of them, which I will photograph soon, was my grandfather's favorite cup and featured prominently in a chapter of a memoir my mom wrote about her childhood.
I think I'll keep doing this, at least occasionally -- pull out a cup from the hutch, add just a little bit of elegance into my days with these fascinating little beauties, and think about my family's past at the same time.