Women have been collecting teacups and saucers for display since the 19th century. A popular gift of that time was hand painted tea cups and saucers, bought plain from general stores for just that purpose. Gift-givers today would probably love to have the time and resources to sit around painting dishes for friends, but most of us are relegated to searching for teacups for sale through auctions online, flea markets, and specialty shops.
There is no right or wrong method for beginning a teacup collection. One should buy and display the patterns one likes, whether it is from a fancy department store or a humble yard sale. The best thing about teacups is that one does not need a matching set in order to serve tea to visiting friends. A complete service is nice, but mismatched patterns are acceptable.
Teacups and saucers must match and be displayed together. Dealers sometimes substitute other saucers or plates if the matching saucer is missing, so when buying secondhand, be sure the cup fits the saucer.
For many of us, our precious teacups are not only admired but are used! Here is some teacup etiquette!!
Teacup Etiquette
Tea time demands a few manners. Next time you host a few friends for this civilized ritual, remember these rules of etiquette:-Do not stir the tea in circular motions, but use a back and forth motion with your spoon from the six o’clock to the twelve o’clock position, gently. Do not clink the spoon.
-Remove the spoon from the teacup when finished stirring, and place it on the rim of the right side of the saucer.
-Only lift the teacup into the air, not the saucer. Drinking tea while standing is done by holding the saucer in the left hand and the teacup in the right.
-Do not cradle the cup in the hands. When not actually taking a sip of tea, put the cup back on the saucer.
-Do not crook the fingers through the handle. Hold the handle with the thumb and fingers.