Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Royal Stafford Edwardian Teacup, Downton Abbey and the Darning Mushrooms

Welcome to our Thursday post. I am joining
Teacup Thursday
Vintage Thingie Thursday

Because I want to talk about Downton Abbey again (see my last post for a Downton Abbey quiz and Dpownton Abbey paperdolls) I have chose an Edwardian period teacup by Royal Stafford, England that I love.





I love the pattern...and it's blue and white, which I love. I can just see this at afternoon tea at Downton. For more info on the cup and saucer at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos.



 I don't know if any of you noticed this scene while you were watching Downton Abbey, with ex housemaid Ethel cradking her son Charlie. Sorry the photo isn't very good, but it was the best I could do.  Charlie had a toy he was playing with through most of his scenes, but did any of you guess what it was? Because it wasn't a toy but a common Victorian and Edwardian domestic gadget. Can you guess what it's for?











These are what are called a darner or darning mushroom, and are used to mend socks...you know, like you do every day, right???!!! Well, in the Edwardian and Victorian times you did mend them. The USA preferred the egg shaped darning egg but England has always favored the darning mushroom. Over the years, I have sold them made of ebony, ivory, sterling silver, celluloid, maple, oak, mahogany, china, rosewood and one of my favorites is below:


 This mushroom darner is made of confetti bakelite. Cool!  Darners were even featured in the March 2012 issue of Country Living magazine. How fun is that! 

 

So if you re-watch Downton Abbey, look for Ethel and baby Charlie and his toy!  The darning mushrooms above are from (all except the 1930s red painted one like a real mushroom) the Time Was Antiques archives. To see our current stock (what's left since the Country Living article, that is) here is a link to our DARNING MUSHROOMS.

Have fun visiting the wonderful teacups and Vintage Thingies!

6 comments:

Het lijstje van brocante said...

I'm back for the TV as the 3rd series start.
Downton Abbey is a great series!! I LOVE IT.
I also have much in the house what you see in Downton Abbey, which I find so amazing
You darning mushrooms that I know they are so beautiful and gorgeous colors.
With warm regards,
Silvia

Tracey Steele said...

Husband manages to destroy the heels of his socks at an alarming rate, and always suggests that I should darn them, so perhaps I should invest in one of these! Not that I would have the first clue how to darn, so I will continue with my present policy of washing them and putting them in the recycling bin.

LV said...

What an interesting and informative post. Have not thought of those sock menders in years. Your china pattern is very pretty.

DallyGirl @ Lifeat2810 said...

Followed your link over from Vintage Thingies Thursday and glad I found you! We are in Eastern Washington - Spokane. Living on your side would be much funner though.

Now, I do remember that scene from Downton Abbey and was wondering what in the heck he was supposed to be playing with. A darning mushroom never would have crossed my mind! As for the series, I found it late in the game and happened across a marathon on our local PBS last weekend. I was able to watch the entire Season 2 in one day. Quite a feat with two littles running around. Can not wait for the next season! Best show on TV in a long time!

Maria Andrade said...

Very interesting post, indeed!
The cup has a gorgeous blue colour and I loved the reference to Downton Abbey that I'm also following in Portugal.
I didn't know about the darning mushrooms, I only remember my mother using a darning egg (she still has it, fortunately!)
Thanks for all the information shared.
Hugs

Ivy and Elephants said...

Thank you so much for linking this to our WIW link party, it is the perfect compliment to the darning egg post! Your mushrooms are gorgeous, I might have to expand my collection!
I'm following you now. Thanks for joining the party!
Hugs,
Patti

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