Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tea Sets for Dollies

I have always been a soft touch when it comes to dolly props and this week I was so lucky to find not one, but two pretty Wedgwood tea sets at reasonable prices. Being all excited, I thought it would be nice to share a little about their history and trade marks with you.

Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, commonly known as Wedgwood, is a fine china, porcelain and luxury accessories company founded on 1 May 1759 by English potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood. After Wedgwood's death in Etruria on January 3, 1795, his descendants carried on the business at Etruria until 1940, when the factory was relocated to Barlaston, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The Etruria site is still used as part of the "National Garden Festival" and Wedgwood's great house can still be seen as it has been incorporated into an hotel.

Throughout the 18th century, creamware as it was known then, became successfully more refined, technically perfect and more aesthetically excellent, until it reached its zenith with a fine form, thin body, clear and brilliant glaze which formed a perfect background for the ingenious enamellers as well as other more mechanical forms of decoration. Creamware is one of the most versatile and long-lived ceramic bodies, it was perfect for its purpose being used for everything from elaborate and ornamental vases to humble utilitarian wares.

Wedgwood's innovatory cream coloured earthenware was called Queen's Ware after the successful completion of his first commission for Queen Charlotte secured in the summer of 1765.


This mark starting in 1940, is being used today on Queen's Ware. In 1974 the circled R was added to back stamps to indicate that the name Wedgwood is a registered trade mark.

It's this mark, shown quite clearly on the back of my Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit set, which helped me to identify that the set was fine, cream-coloured pottery made from clay.


When I checked measurements I found this set would be the perfect size for my Gotz dolls to use with a table and chair set I bought and renovated some years ago. (Tea Pot: 11.5cm high, Sugar bowl: 4cm high, Creamer: 6.5cm high, plate 11cm diam.) I was also fortunate that it also came with two extra plates . . . which I can use for high tea goodies. I have already ordered play scale cookies from BEADSPAGE :)


-oOo-

Jasper, the most famous of Josiah's inventions, first appeared in 1774 after thousands of experiments. An unglazed vitreous fine stoneware, it was made in blue, lilac, green, yellow, black or white; sometimes one piece combined three or more of these colours. Upon these delicately coloured grounds would be applied the classical and contemporary reliefs which are still made today from moulds reproduced from the originals. The iconic light blue jasper gave rise to the expression "Wedgwood Blue" and remains a recognizable Wedgwood signature worldwide.


I haven't found a Jasperware tea set at a price that I like yet, so the search for that shall continue. :)

-oOo-

Wedgwood had increasing success with hard paste porcelain which attempted to imitate the whiteness of tea-ware imported from China, an extremely popular product amongst high society. High transport costs and the demanding journey from the Far East meant that the supply of chinaware could not keep up with increasingly high demand.

In 1812 Wedgwood perfected and produced their own bone china which, though not a commercial success at first, eventually became an important part of an extremely profitable business due to the second son Josiah Wedgwood II (1769–1843), who had succeeded his father as proprietor in 1795.


I purchased this miniature bone china set with the Mirabelle pattern for my tiny wee dolls.



This mark (developed from mark of 1878 when the manufacture of bone china was revived) was used from 1962 and is still used today on Wedgwood's bone china. In 1974 the circled R was added to back stamps to indicate that the name Wedgwood is a registered trade mark.

This is shown on the back of my bone china set. **


When I have time, I promise to post photos of the dolls using them. :)

Do you ever enjoy adding something a little vintage to your dolly collections?

**Mirabelle by Wedgwood 1976
Description: Bone, Green Dotted Edge, Floral Rim
Pattern Number: R4537
Status: Discontinued 1998

18 comments:

  1. These are so beautiful and what a lovely find! I love vintage items in miniature scale. I don't have many in my collection, but I really appreciate them when I see them and I love doll photos and characters that are from "vintage" times!

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    1. Thank you Farrah, I was so pleased to find them. Having the registration mark dating them after 1974 means they are not really old, but I don't think they are new either, as both sets are now discontinued. With a little more research I may be able to find out when and confirm they are at least vintage. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  2. They are great finds, I especially love the Bone China you have, those ones are so delicate. :) I also have a set of some cups and such, but they're not as fine as yours. There's also a Finnish dishwear maker called Arabia that has made proper mini mugs of their designs, they're made as Christmas tree decorations but they would be good size for SD dolls. ^^

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    1. Thanks Xaya. The Mirabelle is a pretty design to be sure, but my heart likes the Peter Rabbit one the best, probably because I have always been an ardent fan of Beatrix Potter. I shall check our the Arabia, I don't collect SD dolls now, but I do have play dolls that size. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  3. These are absolutely gorgeous, I love miniature tea sets, they are just so perfect for our dolls! I don't have any lovely ones like these but did find a couple of cheap sets at a chain store here called Tiger, or Flying Tiger as it's called in Ireland and possibly in the UK. I haven't used mine yet though. I look forward to seeing your tea sets being used with your dolls.
    Thank you also for the history of the company :) It's always nice to read a bit about the things that people find :)
    xxx

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      I love them too, but up until now I only had one that I bought years ago from a porcelain artist. There are many miniature sets available now, most coming in from China, but I'm so pleased I managed to find some good old English ones. Are yours big enough for the Gotz dolls? That size is more difficult to find.
      I like reading about the history behind things, when other people post too. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  4. The Mirabelle set is very pretty and looks lifesize !
    Peter Rabbit is lovely too and I'm glad you've ordered some cookies because you simply can't have tea plates without cookies ^_^ xx

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    1. You are so right Carolyn ... cookies are a must! I was thinking at first I might purchase some macaroons, but the girls preferred the cookies. :)
      Though I may look for a nice large cake with slices, later on when I gather some more money together.
      Hugs,
      X

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    2. Oh but macaroons are so pretty ^_^
      Slices of cake,cream scones,cup-cakes,tarts - this could prove costly!xx

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    3. Yes, but what a fun tea party they would make. :)

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  5. Wow those are some really gorgeous tea sets. I like to buy them too! I have a set I bought when hubby and I were on our honeymoon up north 18 years ago. It's a bit small for a lot of my bjds though!

    I haven't taken a photo of it yet but I bought a vintage record player for my 1/6 scale dolls a few months back. I like to add things like that as props.

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    1. Thanks Alasse, I am rather particular when it comes to tea sets as I imagine you are too. Some miniatures are made too thick and appear to be chunky looking instead if delicate like bone china should be, so I'm pleased with these. The creamware is slightly thicker, but still looks in proportion.

      Oh that sounds lovely, I shall look forward to seeing that. Did you buy it online? I'd like one that size myself. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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    2. The vintage record player? I bought from Tiny Frock shop. Works a treat for Barbie size. Here's the shop link: https://tinyfrockshop.com/

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  6. Hello!
    Those Peter Rabbit sets are so adorable, I would love to own one. Have some products, collectible, with Peter Rabbit. But mostly I have Moomin! :) My mother in law gave a set with tea cups and so to the girls when they were young. Maybe I should check those out...
    Hugs!

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    1. Hi Niina,
      Thank you, there are quite a few of these Peter Rabbit sets still around, if you check the internet you are bound to find one. I know there's a German company that also makes a Peter Rabbit set. Don't know Moomin, will check it out too. :)
      Hugs,
      X

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  7. Oh what a amazing find!! These are adorable and they look so well made. Peter Rabbit is such a cute art style and I love the stories of Beatrix Potter

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    1. Hi Rachel,
      Yes, Wedgwood is a very good brand of dinnerware, so I am so pleased I managed to find these at a reasonable price.

      I have loved the Beatrix Potter stories since I was a small child (that was many moons ago). I still love them today, I have all her books and adore the beautiful illustrations. Do you have any of her books?
      Hugs,
      X

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  8. OMG these are such great finds!!! And they look *perfect*!! You are so lucky to have find them :D

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