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  #1  
Old 03/12/11, 05:51 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Question Other uses for antique tea cups

Was going through the family storage area and found a hardshell suitcase that was full of tea cups that are almost 100 yrs old or older. These are the fancy ones that were sold a cup & saucer at a time for special occasions.

Now I did think of putting up a shelf around the kitchen close to the ceiling as decoration, but I am loath to do so as I really don't like to dust. Much. So that idea is out.

Besides giving them away, or giving them to a friend that serves "high tea" and fresh veggie sandwiches on homemade bread, I am not sure what else to do with them. To be sure they have been in the family for generations, but why hold onto something that you can't use? Even if they are gorgeous...

Unless I could have help finding another purpose for them... Any ideas?

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Old 03/12/11, 06:54 PM
newfieannie
 
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oh there are so many ways to use them .i have a birds nest in one.a candle. pens and pencils in one without a saucer.a pincushion. have one as a bird feeder.hang them on your tree for xmas. 100's of things to do with them. i guess you dont have tea parties or you wouldn't be getting rid of them. but look ,yours are antique. they will bring a pretty sum if you were to sell them. i bought one just a few weeks ago for 40 dollars and that wasn't antique. i have 3 china cabinets where i display mine. ~Georgia.

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Old 03/12/11, 07:18 PM
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tea cups

I saw them made into candles...would make great gifts.

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  #4  
Old 03/12/11, 07:19 PM
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If they're that old, photo them and put them up on Ebay. Find out as much as you can from the marks on the bottom...probably have the maker and design name printed on them. maybe

You could also take the lot of them to a dealer in your nearest town. Do NOT just say "found these, what will you give me for themI was going to throw them away" "they're from my great grandmother who collected and I'd like them to have a good home" is more...um....well, likely to get you a good offer.

Most of the makers and designs are online somewhere now. With some research you should be able to find out what each one is worth.

OTHERWISE....candles as a gift...glued on a stick as a bird feeder...broken up and used for mosaics....send them to me Actually...just the cup with a packet of fancy tea would make an excellent gift for many people!

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  #5  
Old 03/12/11, 08:53 PM
 
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if they have been in the family a long time write a short note as to where they came from and give a set to each family member as a heritage marker.

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  #6  
Old 03/13/11, 01:19 PM
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I have mine in my china hutch too. Even though I never use them they are so beautiful they just bring me joy to see them. Also the wonderful memories they bring back, tea parties with my mom when I was a little girl, my wedding shower for the ladies in my family, etc. Tea cups and saucers are at least small, what do I do with my mom's silver tea service? Big set - coffee urn, tea pot, waste pot, sugar, creamer and large tray. I don't have the Queen to tea very often but if she ever shows up I will be ready!

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  #7  
Old 03/14/11, 09:30 AM
 
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I'd probably hang little hooks from under a shelf and display them that way. Or, I'd look for a cabinet with shallow shelves and glass doors that I could display them dust free.

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Old 03/14/11, 12:37 PM
newfieannie
 
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yes, i think this is what Maura is referring to. this is one of mine. not a good picture. too bright in the dining room today but you get the idea.

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Old 03/16/11, 03:12 AM
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More uses for those tea cups

I have tons of the same & no place to put them, so here's what I did -

Picked out a favorite for each month, by season, or art style (they may be classic, nuveau, deco) to rotate for kitchen potpourri (pickle spices, cloves, citrus peels, coffee bean, or cinnamon sticks, etc.), flowers (especially wildflowers), in the bedroom to catch jewelry, hold a little plant (african voilets look like they were born there), force bulbs like crocus, set next to the kitchen sink to hold baking soda (sponge on the saucer), filled with small batches of marmalade or jam (with old fashioned wax seal), or with lemon curd that you can't seal in a jar anyway, stash with Christmas ornaments to set under the tree for doll or teddy bear tea party scene, in the bathroom with bath salts. Use for Christmas egg nogs. (Christmas boxes have absorbed all kinds of "what they hey can I do with this" old thing - think Victorian & get sentimental.)

The most magical thing I ever saw was a garden spot set with them at different heights on a copper tube - it looked like Alice was just about to step around the corner from Wonderland. Use silicon goo to put together and it can be removed without damage. Flatten the bottom of the tube so it will poke in the ground. Filled with water, little birds perch for a drink.

And think about the future, animism (touched by folks in times gone by), and the fact that they've stayed in your family for so long already. You'll never be struck with regret about things you didn't get rid of, only the things you did. They become more precious with time.

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  #10  
Old 03/16/11, 02:41 PM
 
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I love all the ideas & suggestions! Thank you all. Now to see if can get away from mom so I can use. She wants to keep them, but locked up. I want to USE them. <sigh> Well, will at some point as long as she doesn't sell them out from under me. hehe (they are actually gram's, but she doesn't remember them)

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  #11  
Old 03/16/11, 07:40 PM
 
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My mother in law has tea cups and saucers from several sets, from every country they visited while FIL gave lectures. When entertaining, everyone gets a different cup and saucer. She could not afford a set of anything, but has the pleasure of all these pretty things, and gets to use them. I'm with you, put on a pot of tea!

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  #12  
Old 03/17/11, 01:30 AM
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I display all of my antique tea cups, collections of crystal, china, etc... Then, also USE THEM for special occasions, when guests come over, etc... In addition, I also decorate with them. I'd never use any for crafts, especially NOT antique ones that aren't broken or chipped. Those that aren't worth anything, I wouldn't mind using in crafts. What I have will NOT be sold, but handed down through generations (100 yrs + and some very valuable pieces)

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  #13  
Old 03/17/11, 01:52 AM
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Check out "Antiques Roadshow" before you give them away.
They might be your retirement fund............

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  #14  
Old 03/18/11, 04:19 PM
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Conservation is always correct

Thanks for weighing in, Lori!

It just kills me when the crafting industry gets folks into destroying old stuff to make some here-today gone-tomorrow thingie. I love old hankies and here in California they're getting rare - I'm paying $4 to $10 a pop, while I see TV shows laying out a pristine collection I'd give my eye teeth for only to watch them cut to pieces for some ugly garmet.

Same with buttons, stacked and glued together. I saw a dustcatcher like this, overpriced at $20 with antique pearl and celluloid buttons worth (well, they USED to be) over $100. I've never seen a button-stacked pin that wouldn't have looked better threaded together instead of hot-glued. Linens chopped up. Same with ceramics smashed to bits - they'll reach that state soon enough on their own. And don't get me started on "art books". Yieeeeee.....

Yes, re-purpose is a good thing, but I think it's always better if the elements have maintained their original integrity.

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Old 03/18/11, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDirt Cowgirl View Post
Thanks for weighing in, Lori!

It just kills me when the crafting industry gets folks into destroying old stuff to make some here-today gone-tomorrow thingie. I love old hankies and here in California they're getting rare - I'm paying $4 to $10 a pop, while I see TV shows laying out a pristine collection I'd give my eye teeth for only to watch them cut to pieces for some ugly garmet.

Same with buttons, stacked and glued together. I saw a dustcatcher like this, overpriced at $20 with antique pearl and celluloid buttons worth (well, they USED to be) over $100. I've never seen a button-stacked pin that wouldn't have looked better threaded together instead of hot-glued. Linens chopped up. Same with ceramics smashed to bits - they'll reach that state soon enough on their own. And don't get me started on "art books". Yieeeeee.....

Yes, re-purpose is a good thing, but I think it's always better if the elements have maintained their original integrity.
I was noticing some cool sun catchers a lady up the road was making for her property, which featured what I thought were all vintage glass plates, but I hadn't looked at them very closely. They glittered in the sunshine and I thought they were really pretty. Then, one day, I ventured to look closely at each one. I discovered some rare and valuable pieces, perfect crystal ones, fine china, a few incredible antique pieces, and depression ware. This flat horrified me (never said anything to her, kept my opinion to myself). That woman had no idea what she destroyed to make "sun catchers" with (sold for $20 to $25, when some of the individual pieces were worth well over $100). Each had holes cut in the center of them, so they were ruined as far as value was concerned. The other plates she used, who cares, not worth hardly anything. Chipped and damaged china? Go wild with them, have fun, make whatever :banana02: I have a friend who keeps the pieces to every broken dish. She then uses the pieces w/cement to make things out of. Very cool & no waste

A number of years ago, on a vacation to visit my sis who lived in OR, I stopped off at a vintage gift shop (which was a home business). I saw a very dusty crystal vase w/$5 marked on it (I have an eye for the valuable pieces, LOL). Picking it up, I dusted off a small amount of dust, tapped the rim, and knew what I had. This was fine crystal. Yes, I bought it, not sure of its value, but knew I had gotten quite a deal. At home, I looked it up. That value on that one piece was $135 (over 10 years ago). On re-claiming? I have a 100 yr old wingback chair that was given to me, a very cool 100+ yr old throne type chair with carving on it (also given to me), a free drop leaf table w/legs shortened (will be lengthening the legs to proper table height), a vintage dressing table (1940s) w/oval mirror (free), and other pieces. I am not into new furniture at all. Anything I ever get rid of will be anything that isn't an antique or vintage to replace with pieces that are. Just an eclectic mix around here
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  #16  
Old 02/21/13, 11:14 PM
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A safety warning here about pouring hot liquid into those vintage teacups...they make crack with extreme temperature changes. If you want to have a tea party, please use something "newish" and don't risk burn or breakage with your antique cups.

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  #17  
Old 07/31/13, 05:32 PM
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Tea cups

I only became a member this month. I saw this post and wanted to share this idea.
I was at a church bazzar ina neighboring city and saw what I thougt was a very clever idea for tea cups and saucers. The lady had glued the cup to the saucer and then glued three small chains with clear buttons to the saucer the chains were about 10" in length. They met togeather on a hook at the top so that the cup and saucer was suspended. I have several hanging in my kitchen.
They are a great place for my rings when I am washing dishes. I dry herbs in them. I have some lavendar seeds in one of them for fragrance. I love them and have been thinking to make some more.
Just wanted to share this with you.
Darlene

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  #18  
Old 07/31/13, 07:23 PM
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My daughter and I made a cups and saucers chanderlier. A few did crack but we used those to mosaic the chanderlier base. We bought a storage unit and found them wrapped in newpaper.

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  #19  
Old 07/31/13, 09:07 PM
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Dusting is optional!

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