September 13, 2007

Catalogue tea sets

A while ago a reader asked about my favorite place to buy teacups. I did not have an answer at the time and don't now. Most of my teacups have been gifts which is not to say that I have never bought a teacup. I purchased two Chinese steeping teacups from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, one for my mother and one for myself. I am often tempted to buy sets in estate thrift shops or in catalogues. The other day I received an unsolicited catalogue, Acacia, a "physical and spiritual well-being, fitness, and natural decor" catalogue, which featured a "striped stoneware tea set." It is a set of four cups and saucers (microwave safe) and bamboo-handled, 24-ounce, teapot. The set costs $49 and can be viewed at the catalogue's website.

The Peabody Essex Museum Shop offers lots of teaware including a "teardrop-shaped tea set." The set includes a teapot, two demitasse cups, creamer and sugar bowl, and two tea trays. I am not tempted to buy this set; the design seems more appropriate for display rather than tea service. In fact, the tea set is listed in the Home Decor section of the museum shop!

Finally, like the museum in Salem, Hawkes Winery in Healdsburg, California has a teapot gallery. And like the museum, none of the magnificent pots are for sale.

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Tea art in Salem, MA

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