Saturday, 27 March 2010

Taking it easy

Don't know how or what I've done but there is an excruciating pain from my knee to my butt when I am standing or walking around.  This has left me heartbroken because I will have to spend the weekend with my feet up :-)

So I am going to spend my time catching up with blogland mixed with some crochet and sewing.  The OH is going out this afternoon so no sport on the TV (yippee!!) and I will have the power (remote control) to watch whatever slop I want to without raised eyebrows.

I've been intending to blog about two other passions of mine which don't involve needles or thread so today I'll bore you all with my toy china collection.

I think this first started when I was a child many moons ago.  Our local museum has a toy section and I used to stand and stare at a little miniature blue willow tea service and wish that I could have one but the closest I ever got was an imported Japanese one.  These used to be given out at Christmas at the local working men's club to all the girls ..... that place was something else and long demolished to be replaced by a hideous shopping centre.  Not very PC I know but I can still smell the mix of cigarette smoke, beer and the stuff they used to put on the floor to stop the dancing couples from slipping over.  There was no single dancing that I can remember and the music was supplied by local bands.  Anyhow I digress ...... back to the toy china.

These were first made as early as the 1770s but were most popular during Victorian times.  They could only be afforded by wealthy families and were usually miniature versions of the family dinner/tea services for the children of the house to play with in the nursery.  It is amazing that so many have survived and in such wonderful condition.  They were made in other countries but my preference is for the early Staffordshire sets and I just love transferware ..... the detail is fantastic and I never cease to marvel at the potters and painters' skills.  Here are some of my collection

This is a set by the Ridgway factory in Staffordshire and dates to the late Victorian era ... it is called Master Humphrey's Clock and the scenes on each piece depict the story from Charles Dicken's Old Curiosity Shop .... the story is about Little Nell and her grandfather who live in the shop in London and her friend Kit.  On the teapot is Little Nell, the cups have her grandfather sitting by her grave in the churchyard as he can't accept her death and Kit appears on the saucers.

To give an idea of the size of these the teapot stands 6" tall and the cups are just 1.75" tall.

In the background the two little plates are by Dimmock and date to circa 1840 .... the design is called Dimity but these are all I have of this set.  I have managed to acquire over the years the full tea and dinner service in the Humphrey's Clock set .... there is also a dessert service and dressing table set but they are extremely rare ..... I am still kicking myself for not buying two little comports from the dessert service around ten years ago at an antiques fair .... I dithered and decided not to spend my last £20 and I have never seen them since.

This little oriential design set is also by Ridgways and I found this last year in the local charity shop for the princely sum of £1 ... this dates to the early 1900s.

This little trio are from a coffee service ... they are unmarked and I haven't managed to identify the maker but from the shape and type of pottery they will date to circa 1850.  Have you noticed how large the bowl is ..... these are often mistaken for sugar bowls but they are in fact slop or waste bowls.

This set is also by Ridgways and is called Persia .... it dates to circa 1860 and has a lustre finish to the glaze ... I have some teacups, plates and saucers and I'm on the lookout for the teapot.

This is the little spoon rest and it measures just 1.25" long

I will post some more another day when I've done some dusting and taken some more photos!!


  1. Oh they are lovely Lala I didn't know they even existed...could you show a set next to something normal size to show the difference as I have difficulty visulising measurements, but as you say the detail is amazing...btw thank you for your comment on my blog xx

  2. How interesting, I've never seen a miniture set before, but I really adore blue & white china and have quite a collection myself. Unfortunately, its all stored in the the attic as Mr. P went all contemporary, but I am about to sneak it out again so bugger the consequences, lol!. Sorry to hear about your leg, you'll have to come round here and join the 'poor soldiers' club - hope you feel better soon.
    Jak x

  3. Sciatica? (Is that how you spell it?).

    What a fascinating post! And what a wonderful collection Debbie. Thanks for sharing. Hope that leg gets better soon.

  4. What a lovely collection - thanks for giving us a look, do hope your leg is better soon. It is so frustrating when the body lets you down.

  5. I have some Ridgways china - My MIL gave us 4 litte bowls which I beleive are pudding/dessert bowls but my OH remebers using them for soup when he was small. I wouldn't dream of using them now - I think thet date from 1830 ish.
    Hope your knee feels better for a rest.