Skip to main content
state library of queensland

Tea and Me by Margaret's cup

By Administrator | 26 June 2012

Fifty-eght years ago I was removed from a shop display window in the small country town of Esk.   Wrapped in tissue and cellophane by a dear old lady, I was presented to her nephew and his bride on their wedding day. I was considered too precious to be used everyday, but I was taken out on a Sunday or when visitors came.  Along with other pieces in the afternoon tea set to which I belonged, I was placed on a neatly embroidered linen cloth, along with homemade cakes, Arnott's biscuits, and a tiny vase of flowers.  In those days tea was made in a china teapot using loose tea leaves and boiling water from the kettle, then covered with a hand  knitted woollen tea cosy to keep the tea warm. After waiting a few minutes for the tea 'to draw' it was poured into us as we sat on our matching saucers.

Most people stirred in sugar, and some added milk, but my owner, Margaret, loved her tea 'black'-just as it came from the pot.  I was lifted to her lips, and quite oftern my rim got smeared in lipstick!  Occassionally the tea was poured into the saucer to cool it down before drinking  (but this was not considered very genteel!)

Nowdays I sit inside a glass china cabinet, almost forgotten.  Gone are the days I remember.  My owner, her family and visitors now take a mug from the kitchen drawer, drop in a tea bag and add hot water.  But I still feel loved when someone opens the cabinet door, picks me up, turns me over to see who made me*, and remarks on my quality and beauty.  And my owner still loves her 'cuppa', any time of day or night, even if it is in a mug.

*Barratts,  Staffordshire, England.  Margaret Daly


Your email address will not be published.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.