Antique teacups remain some of the most popular vintage collectibles today and for many reasons. Their intricate, beautiful designs and very affordable make them an ideal collectible choice.
While teacups had been used in China since 220 AD or so, the teacup as it is known today was not in common use in Europe until the early 1600s. Tea was sipped from small bowls. Since the ruling classes in Europe most often used silver or pewter, it was quickly obvious that a different vessel for drinking hot beverages must be developed or scorched fingers would hound the royal house.
Within a few years porcelain was being manufactured in Europe and cups with delicate handles were being created. The teacup was born.
Tea and tea time reached its pinnacle during Victorian times. Giving teacups and saucers as gifts was popular among the ladies of the upper class. The cups were given as gifts for many different occasions, including bridal showers, weddings, and hostess gifts.
Coffee cups sometimes get mistaken for teacups. The teacup will usually have its handle placed higher and may be very ornate. Sometimes it will be footed, which means that the cup sits on a small pedestal. Teacups will have, or have had at one time, a matching saucer. They are more delicate than coffee cups as well.
Of course, there is no right or wrong way to collect antique teacups. They are a wonderful collectible because of the infinite variety and the low cost of the items. You can find teacups of many vintages at local antique shops, thrift stores, and garage sales etsy and here!!