Monday, August 8, 2011

Teacup Tuesday, Early Staffordshire Shell pattern, Victorian Carpet Balls or Bowls

Hello and welcome to Teacup Tuesday with these fine blogs:

Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday 
Wanda Lee~
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee 
Tuesday Tea 
Tea Party Tuesday 
Lady Katherine~ 
Teatime Tuesday
Tea Time Tuesday

Today I am sharing mid Victorian Early Staffordshire teacup trio with the prettiest seashell motif. The set of cup and saucer with matching plate was made in the Staffordshire region of England somewhere between 1879-1890. The material is called soft paste porcelain and could have been made by any one of several potters in the region.

Isn't that the prettiest pattern? I really love the mid Victorian Staffordshire patterns. The design is usually classed as Aesthetic Movement, or English Arts And Crafts. I love that period! 

For more info on the Early Staffordshire seashell teacup trio at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos. 

Okay...what is this???


I'll tell you it measures 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter. A large marble? That's not to far off. This is a Victorian  carpet ball or carpet bowl (as in carpet bowling) which were a big fad in the early to mid Victorian era ending mostly around the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Carpet balls were made of fired clay and decorated with many cheerful patterns and colors and were used to play an indoor game similar to lawn bowling or like curling. There was a set of 12 balls of the large size and one small white ball called the "jack". Like curling, the team closest to the house at the end of the game with their balls won. The balls usually show round dents or concoidal impact marks and are extremely hard to find. I sold the last I had about 3 months ago and there must have been a mention of them in an article of magazine because I sold the last 4 to one lady but had at least 10 other inquiries, emails & calls during the next week.  They have been used by designers in the past to heap in bowls for an interesting decorator touch and a few years ago Bombay Company carried some made in china fancy glazed ones in pretty florals.  I wish I had sazed photos of all the patterns and colors of the antique ones I have had over the years, but I still had these photos in the archives:

The plaids were especially popular as Queen Victoria was quite addicted to plaid and it became wildly popular all over England.

So that's your bit of useless trivia for the day! Have fun visiting the other blogs for Teacup Tuesday! 


Johanna said...

Hello Ruth,
oh my, what an amazing post. Your Stafforshire set is beautiful.But I never heard before about Carpet Bowl. I can imagine the ladies and gents, playing in the Salon. I find often such balls (but newly made) for decoration. But maybe they are a relict from the old habbit to play Carpet Bowl. Thank you for sharing this interesting report.
Best greetings, Johanna

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello Ruth,
Love your Staffordshire teacup; sweet pattern! I enjoyed the history of it and the carpet balls too. I think that would have been fun; to have a game of carpet bowl before having tea. Like Queen Victoria, I like plaid too. Unfortunately, Hubby doesn't like it. He says it should only be used for a kilt! Funny guy!


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