Category Archives: Dinnerware

Springtime Rituals and the Pouring of Tea – April, 2011 Events

With the arrival of spring and the upcoming religious celebrations of Passover and Easter later this month (April 19th and April 24th respectively) I have been thinking about the many rituals that we have incorporated into our daily lives. Just like these two holidays that are centered around a meal (the Seder and the Last Supper) many of life’s other rituals are celebrated with food, drink and sustenance to feed our bodies while our souls and hearts are being fed and nourished by community, friendship and family.

A selection of Tea Sets from England, Japan, Canada and Czechoslovakia. The Candle holders are by Frankoma Pottery of Oklahoma, c. 1951-78 5.5" Prairie Green Glaze, $39.00 for the pair.

To the British and to many of those that reside in former British colonies one important daily ritual is “afternoon tea”.  The daily “pouring of the tea” is an important ritual that brings cohesion to the often busy, chaotic and fragmented lives we live. It is a time to reflect on the day and at times to bring one back to a starting point where we can proceed renewed and nourished to complete the remainder of the day before us.

(Pictured Lower) E. Radford Pottery Company of England, c. 1920-30s 4 piece Set of Hand-Painted Art Deco Teapot w/ Lid, Sugar & Creamer, $130.00 (Pictured Above) James Sadler of England, c. 1960-70s Transfer Flow Blue Porcelain,"Afternoon Tea - The Old Mill" Six Piece Set, Teapot w/ Lid, Sugar Bowl w/ Lid, Creamer & Tea Pot Stand (not pictured), $140.00

It is not surprising to those of us that collect and admire ceramics that over the years there have been many different design styles employed in the creation of the vessels used to prepare and serve tea. Tea rituals are rooted deep in the history of many countries of the world with the creation of teapots and bowls designed with the ritual in mind.   The Eastern cultures of China and Japan document that  tea was introduced in as early as the 8th Century with the Japanese Tea Ceremony finding its roots in the 12th Century.  The ceremony also known as the Way of Tea embraced the principles of harmony, respect, purity  and tranquility.

Japanese c.1948-55 Hand-painted Lusterware Tea Set - Tea Pot w/ Lid, Sugar w/ Lid & Creamer, $80.00

Here in America tea drinking is a part of the culture so much so that it played a major role in the America Revolution with the Boston Tea Party. Later it was immortalized in the song “Tea for Two” from the 1925 musical “No, No Nanette” with words by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Caesar.

I’m discontented with homes that I’ve rented
So I have invented my own.
Darling, this place is lovely oasis
Where life’s weary taste is unknown
Far from the crowded city
Where flowers pretty caress the stream
Cozy to hide in, to live side by side in,
Don’t let it apart in my dream-

Picture you upon my knee
Just tea for two
And two for tea
Just me for you
And you for me alone.

(Left) Blue Mountain Pottery of Ontario, Canada, c.1960s Four Piece Olive Green Aladdin Tea Pot w/ Lid, Sugar Bowl & Creamer, $135.00 - (Right) Czechoslovakian c.1930s Ditmar Urbach Hand-painted 5 Piece Set, Tea Pot W/ Lid, Sugar Bowl w/ Lid & Creamer, $190.00

Billy Blue Eye is pleased to feature a selection of  tea sets at all of our April events. Each of the sets pictured here are in excellent condition and are guaranteed to make your tea pouring ritual a special event.

The April event Schedule is as follows:

Sunday, April 17th Long Beach Collectible & Antique Market, located in the Veteran’s Stadium Parking Lot from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM. We are located in space # A 853. Click here for $ .50 off Admission Discount Coupon.

Saturday, April 23rd, The Whittier Uptown Antique Street Faire,Uptown Whittier on Philadelphia Street from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM.  We are located in space #36 at the intersection of Philadelphia & Friends Streets.

Easter Sunday, April 24th, Jamestown Vintage Flea Market, 474 El Camino Real, Tustin from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM.  Space #45.

As always look for our green & white tent. For those of you that reside outside Southern California we accept Visa, Master Card, and Pay Pal and all orders over $200.00 are shipped free. We offer a full refund if you are not completely satisfied with your order. We look forward to assisting you soon. Happy Spring, Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Tea Time!


Leave a comment

Filed under Antique Market, Antique Shows, Collectibles, Dinnerware, E. Radford Pottery of England, Holiday Traditions, Street Fairs, Tea Sets

Beswick Pottery’s “Zorba” Sixteen Piece Coffee Service Contains Strong Greek Inspiration.

c. 1970-73 Beswick Pottery "Zorba" 16 piece Coffee Service $190.00

Pottery designer Graham Tongue created the thirty-two items for the “Zorba” dinnerware line of England’s Beswick Pottery in 1968. The name itself conjures up Greek origins and visions of passionate dancing complete with plate breaking. Offered here is the sixteen piece Coffee Service produced by the company from 1970 to 1973.  Originally produced in two colorways, brown and olive green, both in a gloss finish. The decoration used geometric shapes of circles and triangles to create a border pattern for various “modern” shapes.

c.1970-73 Beswick Pottery "Zorba" Coffee Server

The brown finish, called “bronze,” was probably the “in color” at the time, and this is the color most often found today. The bronze items came in different combinations, one shade all over, dark brown and light brown (like this set), or in some cases three shades of brown. The dark brown has a satin matte finish.

Beswick "Zorba" Coffee Server Lid Detail

Beswick "Zorba" Coffee Server Bottom - Mold # 2211 & Backstamp

Beswick Pottery was founded by James Wright Beswick in 1896 although some historians say 1894. In 1898 a premises was opened on Gold Street, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England, still the home of Beswick today although it operates under the umbrella of the Royal Doulton Group.

Beswick "Zorba" Open Sugar Bowl & Cream Jug Set

Throughout most of the 20th Century Beswick created beautifully decorated quick-selling lines of vases, pots, jugs, tea pots, trinkets and dinnerware. An early (1930) ad line read, “Everything the householder needs in earthenware”. The company employed many noted pottery designers including James Hayward, Albert Hallam, Mr. Symcox, and Mr. Watkin. These men were always given credit for their lines and many early collectors followed a specific designer.  To this day the best resourse book on the company, The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Beswick Pottery, by Diana and John Callow gives designer credit on each item featured in their excellent reference book.  In 1969  Beswick was sold to the Royal Doulton Group.

Beswick "Zorba" Set of Six Cups & Saucers

Billy Blue Eye Pottery is proud to offer this sixteen piece Coffee Service for $190.00. For more information and/or to purchase this great set, contact us directly at  We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Pay Pal and offer a full refund if not satisfied.  This set is in excellent condition with no imperfections.  We wish you all, as the Beswick Collectors Circle used to say, “Happy Beswicking”.

1 Comment

Filed under Beswick Pottery, Dinnerware, Mid-Century Design