Monday, March 3, 2008

Girls and their tea sets

This weekend my sister gave me a lovely surprise - the tea set I had as a little girl. I must have been eight or nine years old when I got that for Christmas. My sister Wendy had a similar set, and we kept them in a charming little china cupboard with glass fronted doors. The little pieces say "Made in Japan" as was common circa 1955 or so. The pattern is somewhat inconsistent in coloring, making it appear that the dishes were handpainted. It is not a valuable set, and a few pieces are missing: a cup and saucer, the creamer, and a little platter. But it is very special to me. As girls we played and played with our little dishes, and my younger sisters played with them too. We ate off of them, we washed and dried them (I wonder how much lead was found in those plates!). It's a miracle any of them survived our clumsy little girl hands. Upon finding them years later, my mom gave them to my younger sister, thinking they were hers, but Deb knew they must be mine and yesterday passed them on to me.

In July of 1980, my then-husband and I took a belated honeymoon trip to France for three weeks, spending our first wedding anniversary in Poitier. There we decided to buy an anniversary gift for ourselves. I don't recall how we chose this - it must have been my idea, but we picked a lovely yet whimsical tea set with place settings for six, pitcher, creamer, sugar bowl and platter. But we called it a breakfast set with the small salad plates and flat bowls. Upon our divorce, my husband said I should keep them, he didn't want them. And I have kept them and use them often.

I have always had a weakness for charming dishes. But I had thought I might sell the dishes from France. However, this finding of childhood artifacts makes me a little more sentimental about all my tea sets.

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