Coffee Art Deco style – Mother’s Day 2020.
It was well past 9 when I made my way to the kitchen this morning. After a restless night, I clumsily shuffled to the wood stove and poked at a few embers while thinking about all the manoeuvres required to get me a cup of coffee. Stoke fire.… stoke fire too much – again.. open doors and widows to let smoke out.. electric kettle on..
My mind wandered aimlessly back to yesterday. I had taken some photos in my studio and as a part of that, I had retrieved a much loved tea set out of deep storage as I had planned to place special objects discreetly in the background. Maybe a cup and saucer on the side table.. bearing witness.
The kettle let out a shrieking whistle. I shuffle back to it, passing the vintage crockery on the table. How fitting I thought. A cup of tea using my mother’s wedding china….
I have loved this china since I can remember. It sparked a deep appreciation of Art Deco and memories of distant afternoon teas, when Aunts and Uncles smelling faintly of moth balls arrived with loud greetings and home made cakes… a ritual offering initiated by generations of ancestors…..who never failed to bring cake. After double cheeked kisses, my mother would wave them in and quickly proceed to bring out her best china.. much to my delight.
Back to this morning. Still in my fluffy dressing gown, I downed myself a fine cup of Moccona Coffee in honour of my mother. (Who was more of a ‘Bushell’s coffee’ girl during the week but percolated fresh ground on the weekend… ) By now the clock announced 10.10 and I leaned back in my chair, looking deeply at the pattern. I realised that I knew nothing about these glorious artefacts. With the sun streaming in the window and to the sound of a truck ponderously making its way on the dirt road along our frontage, I entered the pattern information on the back of the saucer into my trusty browser. ‘Crownford – Burslem, England. B’
Success! I found a Tureen of the exact same pattern on an old ebay listing. ‘Crownford Burslem Art Deco Tureen Vintage Serving Dish 1933’. The detective in me is well and truly in flight…. I have six cake plates, 5 cups and saucers, 1 milk jug and one serving plate left. Therefore, 1 tea pot, 1 sugar bowl with lid must have been broken along with one cup and saucer. Case closed.
Today, this elegant, remnant tea set will go back to sleep in its deep vault.. too precious for me to risk more breakage as I have no safe place to display it. But it is a part of me as it was a part of my mother before me and so the bond is unbroken across space, time, mortality and afternoon tea.
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