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state library of queensland

Tea and Me

Woman lying in bed with a cup of tea at the High Tor guesthouse

Tea and Me

On view now

Tea drinking is an everyday tradition shared by people from all walks of life.

We like our tea made a certain way and of course, in a special mug or cup. Like other objects in our lives, we often assign teacups a second life – they are valued because of what they mean to us.. We keep them in a special place and they provide us with comfort and peace and remind us of shared moments.

Funded through the Queensland Library FoundationTea & Me is a unique collection project that seeks to capture Queensland's special tea-related memories.

Teacups and sets on display in State Library of Queensland’s Reception and Queensland Terrace  include teacups from individuals who have kindly donated their precious objects and shared their stories with us.

Taking tea in the garden, 1890s, Photographer: Unidentified, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 43999.

The Queensland Terrace is a room of delightful surprise, adopting the miscreant logic of being both outdoors and a precious cabinet for treasures and memories. It houses a fragile domestic cargo of china teacups that evokes memories of places, people and occasions throughout the state.  The collection speaks of the humble collective ritual of tea-taking while simultaneously being reflected, multiplied, fractured and glorified in kaleidoscopic patterns over the glamorously mirrored ceiling.

Discover more

Children's tea party at Marlborough, Queensland,
Tea Time State Library of Queensland Flickr set
View State Library's Tea Time photograph collection on Flickr.
View images
Afternoon tea in the garden, Gympie, ca. 1907, Photographer: Unidentified, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 73097
Vintage Queensland Cups and Saucers
Learn more about four vintage tea cups and saucers and one plate featuring images of Queensland locations, found in the State Library collection.
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Tea break for the workers in the bush, Christmas post card, ca. 1905, Photographer: Unidentified, Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 95540.
Retro Sandgate Brisbane Cups and Saucers 1950-1959
A matching-pair of vintage retro cups and saucers decorated with an image featuring the Town Hall viewed from Sandgate Memorial Park.
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Woman standing at small table in backyard pouring tea, 1910-1954, Arthur McLeod, Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Image number:32086-0008-0003.
"Greenmount Beach" Coolangatta, Qld. Plate and Cup ca. 1950
View a three piece souvenir teacup set featuring an image of Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta.
View collection item