Royal Week ~ Limoges Porcelain Fit for Royalty

Royal Wedding week  for HRH Prince Harry and his fiancée Ms. Meghan Markle and it wouldn’t be complete without a small discussion and a little history about “taking tea.” Warming us when it’s chilly outside and cooling us down when poured over ice cubes in the summer ~ tea is the perfect drink no matter what side of the Pond one lives on! 😉

courtesy of Yahoo.com images, saved to Period Dress on Pinterest

Excitement and guessing about what the bride’s dress will look like are all part of what is being shared this week surrounding the upcoming Saturday nuptials at St. George’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, England of
HRH Prince Harry of England and Ms. Meghan Markle ~ a fairy tale being played out much like one 62 years ago where another American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in April of 1956.



Tea and Brits

Tea and the British go together like… well…

tea and biscuits…

This week I shared a post about porcelain fit for a king so today I thought I’d share a little about how tea time as we know it came to be.

Tea as a drink has its origins in China in the year 2737 BC when Emperor Shennong was away from home with his army. His servant was preparing hot water for him to drink and a leaf from the camellia sinensis bush blew into his cup. The leaf went undetected and Emperor Shennong drank from the cup and found the brewed tea to his liking.


By English wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

In the 1500’s, Portuguese priests and merchants were offered tea  to drink in China and they enjoyed it and brought tea leaves back to their part of the Western world. Tea became a popular drink in the United Kingdom
during the next century.

The East India Tea Company brought tea production to India during this time in order to compete with China. Consumption of tea was mostly for the upper classes initially as tea was expensive but with England being able to produce its own tea, the drink was eventually cost-effective and made available to everyone.

Anna Maria, Marchioness of Tavistock.jpg
Anna, Duchess of Bedford By Unknown – http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2716693070094285158FiYlXt, Public Domain, Link

Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, started the tradition of afternoon tea back in 1840 by inviting in a few friends to share a light meal to stave off hunger between the noon meal and dinner

which then was served at 8:00p.m.

The idea took off as apparently everyone was hungry and
high tea became very fashionable.
What’s the difference between the different tea repasts
you ask?
According to a nice post by Tea Time magazine afternoon tea {also called a low tea} is a light afternoon snack where little finger or tea sandwiches, scones and cake is served. High tea is a little more substantial with savories and meats included with the tea and is more like what we would call supper. High tea is served at 5:00p.m.
Not really a tea but too beautiful not to share.  🙂
Here is a table set for a light dinner at the Biltmore Estate
that I shared in my Biltmore at Christmas post last December.

A cream tea is a tea that serves scones with clotted cream and a small pot of jam.

In the Victorian Tea Society when we had teas at each other’s

homes we really had an afternoon tea.

Once in a while if a friend just happened to stop by

then I might have a cream tea as a mid-morning snack

but actually a cream tea is a type of afternoon tea

in the United Kingdom.


Tea Accoutrements

Tea tins

Earlier this year I found this tea tin at HomeGoods and since it works with our British tea theme today plus it’s my favorite color…  Just had to share here with you today! On the back of this sweet pink tin of black tea by the Keep Calm and Carry On Beverage company, Ltd. there is a summary of how the famous saying on WWII British posters came to be:
“On the eve of WWII the British Government printed 2.5 million Keep Calm and Carry On posters. The aim of the simple five word statement was to convey tot he country a message of reassurance for the troubled times that lay ahead.
“The posters went unused and subsequently destroyed at the end of the war.  Some 55 years later a second hand book dealer in the North of England discovered a copy of the poster in a box of books bought for auction.  That find marked the rebirth and launch of the Keep Calm and Carry On message into the 20th Century.”
Tea tins have been in production for over a century now  but tea was first stored in small locked tea chests or boxes within the home {think the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773}.

Tea bags

There are first cutting and second cuttings of tea with the first cut referred to as the best tea for that harvest from the camellia sinensis bushes at a tea plantation.  Brewing a cup or pot of loose leaf tea is still the best tasting way to enjoy tea.

There are differing types of tea ~ white, black, oolong, rooibos, green tea and more.

There are also tisanes which are herbal blends and not really teas but most people call them tea anyway.
The invention of the tea bag is considered as 1908 with little hand-sewn bags of fabric, usually silk.  Patents were applied for as early as 1903 with production beginning in 1904 and successful marketing of tea bags by 1908, hence the date.

Tea spoons

Spoons specifically for tea were originally called mote spoons and were created by Colonial pewter and silversmiths here in America.
These spoons were long-handled with slots in the spoon face itself for removing tea leaves from one’s cup and from the crevices of the tea pot’s spout. 
Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

I hope  you’ve enjoyed this little history of tea today and

please check some of my other posts featuring tea

by just searching “tea,” “teatime” and “table settings” in

the search bar along the top, I believe it is.


Set your recorder  to record the royal wedding which will begin at 4am EST this coming Saturday morning on all the major news channels starting at various times.

Check there programming for the correct time for that station ~ especially if you aren’t planning to get up to watch it live


Today’s post then is sharing some beautiful china
fit for royalty! 



This sweet Art Deco creamer with it’s zeppelin ridged style is lovely used as a flower vase.




Lovely Limoges  





Porcelain tableware from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s from European countries such as Austria, Germany, 
Selisia {modern day Poland} and especially France capture the heart
like no other ceramicware.


Beautiful, lightweight and durable with hand-painted gold details and decorated with roses and sweet garden flowers ~


Limoges and the ceramics from this time period are just as fashionable today as when these pieces


were first made. 





Variety of uses
In today’s modern setting ~ vintage and antique Limoge can be used for their original purpose as placesettings for dining or just decoratively as I tend to use many of these pieces here.

Antique china tends to have small chips often along its edges called flea bites and small crazing all over if not down and out cracks and repaired breaks which someone lovingly repaired long ago.
Other than drops, much of this is probably due to the stresses of weather and time as well as from being boxed away and stored when not in use or in fashion. 



Here I’ve repurposed this antique Irish soup tureen to display a candle ~ lovely!


Even if a piece doesn’t have any cracks or crazing ~ hot foods can cause any lead to leak out becoming poisonous so only use antique and vintage tableware with cold foods or place a clear plate between any food and your beautiful piece. 
This O and EG Royal Austria plate was manufactured somewhere between 1898 – 1918.  I hadn’t realized it was that old!

Too beautiful to just throw away past owners kept these 
ethereal pieces until it was decided to let someone else

enjoy their beauty…


This cake plate (above photograph, lower left) is really a Victorian or Edwardian era soup dish with flatter sides as was popular for dinner parties at the turn of the last century. This porcelain soup bowl was made by a pottery manufacturing company called O and E. G. ~ then owned by brothers Oscar and Edgar Gutherz. 

This little antique creamer with its zeppelin shape charmingly holds some posies.


According to a site called The Porcelain Zone Oscar Gutherz began the firm with Maximilan Marx decorating porcelain. Gutherz’ brother Edgar joined the firm after Edgar bought out Marx’s interest in the company. The company was commonly called Royal Austria Factory, according to the Porcelain Zone. From there, the brothers went on the produce porcelain themselves. 
Here are the years of production to help date a piece of their tableware if you have or find some: 
1876 – 1898: Marx and Gutherz
1898 – 1918:  Oscar and Edgar Gutherz
1918 – 1920:  OEPIAG – Österreichische Porzellan-Industrie AG
1920 – 1945:  EPIAG – Erste Porzellan-Industrie AG / Karlsbad
1945 – 1958:  EPIAG / Starorolsky Porcelán


This gilded Haviland deviled egg serving dish
has held berries on the table and does
double duty as a decorative soap holder
in our bathroom.
A collection of O and E G plates mixed with Haviland Limoges and other European tableware.

Practical uses
A practical way to use many of these pieces is by mixing them in with today’s modern tableware. My favorite thing to do is use reproduction cups and saucers that I know can be safely used for tea or coffee and the plates themselves can be used for cold foods like finger sandwiches, cold fruit and desserts.
If there is any doubt about using a dinner plate or salad plate for dining then a way to use them safely is by adding a clear glass or plastic plate over top to eat off of instead while enjoying the beautiful plate below.



My friend Gloria would do this whenever she used her antique carnival glass for our tea luncheons ~  although it may have been safe to use “as is” since it’s glass. The extra glass plate on top doesn’t detract from the look of the table either as it is almost invisible to the eye.








Another tip


The acid in citrus fruits can also pull lead out of pieces of porcelain.
Place a paper doily under your fruit salad when serving
oranges and mixed fruit salads.
Little bits of love in a stamp…
The history of Limoges

Often we call all of these pretty porcelain pieces Limoges
but that would be a misnomer.  Limoges is a city in France where the base clay called kaoline used in this very
white porcelain was found.

David Haviland already had a thriving china shop in New York when in 1840 he went to France to find a manufacturer out of the


many in the area who would create pieces of porcelain that he could then sell to the American public.


Haviland eventually moved to the city of Limoges so he could oversee production of his tableware.


The city’s name became synonymous with Haviland’s china


production and hence the name Limoges stuck.




These pieces were always hand-gilded and sometimes sold as blanks to be hand-painted by women in cottage industries.
This was particularly popular at the beginning of the 20th century with American women.

Manufacturer’s used a newly invented process of transferring a
lithograph onto a piece when decorating a plate or china piece in
house ~ a process of placing a pre-inked tissue stamped by copper
plates which was then “transferred” by hand by a worker
onto each china blank.
The pieces were then fired at a low temperature to fuse the
beautiful prints into the clay. 





An interesting book published by the Haviland Collectors International Foundation (HCIF) called
Celebrating 150 Years of Haviland China: 1842-1992
catalogues the history of the Haviland family and
an amazing amount of tableware pieces. 



A couple of years ago I shared my story of meeting Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and I thought I had shared about Royal Winton potteries as I have a book in storage about their manufacturing facilities and their process but perhaps not.
This book shares many photographs of the artists and young women at work applying transfers to pieces of china and hand painting ~ really interesting if you like
studying this sort of thing!










Sets of china

Monogrammed china available as souvenirs is always created for royal newlyweds and though the new Duke and Duchess won’t have their official new titles bestowed upon them until
after the wedding ceremony you can bet their actual family china will be spectacular. 


For other wonderful royalty posts check out my friend
Laura Ingalls Gunn’s wedding week posts on her blog
Decor to Adore.
She shares many posts on tiaras and all things royal.
A favorite photograph from this year’s Valentine’s post.
Sharing with
 Dishing It and Digging It
Thursday Favorite Things
Feathered Nest Friday
Sweet Inspiration
Inspire Me Monday
Friday Features
Hearth and Soul
Create Bake Grow and Gather
Tablescape Thursday
Best of the Weekend ~ Pender and Peony
Tuesday Cup of Tea ~ Antiques and Teacups
Tea in the Garden ~ Bernadine’s
If you’ve enjoyed this post here are several others
on all things royal:
Tea with the Duchess
Add Sweet Vintage Candy Boxes to your Decor
Royal Week: Keep Calm and Drink Tea!

Three cheers for love,


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