Fancy a tea service? Here are five to choose from05 February 2020 Add a bit of beauty and class to your afternoon tea breaks with the perfect antiques tea service.
The history of the tea set starts in China, where the drink itself was invented, during the Han Dynasty (206-220BC). These consisted only of bowls. The teapot was not developed until the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD). Tea became popular in Europe during the 1600s, and he tea service gradually changed with the addition of creamers and sugar baskets.
By the end of the 1700s, larger tea sets were common, some as large as 43 pieces (12 teacups, 12 saucers, 6, sometimes 12, coffee cups, a teapot with a cover and a stand, a tea canister with a cover, a milk pot with a cover and spoon tray).
Today there are many sets to choose from at auction, both silver and porcelain and from Europe or Asia. Below we choose six to bid for on thesaleroom.com this month.
Belgian auction house Rob Michiels offers several tea services at its Important Asian Ceramics and Works of Art Sale running from February 15-16. It includes this Chinese Famille rose and gilt Meissen-style 17-piece set from the Qianlong period (1711-99). It is offered with an estimate of €2500-5000
Bishop & Miller
This early 20th century Meissen part tea service includes four cups, five saucers, a teapot, a coffee pot and a sugar bowl. Each piece is decorated with sprays of flowers on a white ground. The set has an estimate of £200-300 and is offered at Bishop & Miller on February 8.
Take your tea to go with this French silver-gilt travelling tea service, c.1920. Made in Paris by Gustav Keller, it includes a tea pot, milk jug, sugar bowl, two spoons and a kettle that can be heated over a spirit burner and stand. All pieces fit in the included leather carrying case. It is offered at Bonhams’ auction of February 12-13 where it has an estimate of £1500-2000. Please note that inside the handle of the kettle is ivory, which served as insulation. This means the lot may be subject to CITES regulations when exported outside the EU.
Canterbury Auction Galleries
A tea and coffee service from the early 19th century is available from Canterbury Auction Galleries. The Flight, Barr & Barr bone china set, c.1810, is painted in blue and peach. It includes 29 pieces total and is offered during a February 8-9 auction with an estimate of £250-350.
Offered at Gerrards auction of February 6-7, this Art Deco period tea service has four pieces. Hallmarked Sheffield 1932, the tea and coffee pots have Bakelite handles and finials and all pieces are in good condition. It is offered with an estimate of £700-850, which the auction house adds is low for the quality and condition of the lot.