I used to be just lately gifted a classic tiny tea set. The superb consideration to element on the set had me questioning when these little units turned in style, and the way I might begin amassing extra. As I realized about these lovely little tea units, I noticed there was an fascinating historical past to share.

History Of Tiny Tea Sets- The Dollhouse 
Miniature tea units are too small for conventional dolls, however the excellent measurement for an exquisite dollhouse. So to study extra about them, I began trying on the historical past of dollhouses. Sure sufficient, these units had been made for tiny homes. I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a dollhouse rising up, and my daughter now has the grand Victorian home, hand construct by my artistic father. Dollhouses might be little slices of historical past, and might take dozens of years to construct and furnish.

Miniature Dragonware Tea set and picture offered by Jo-Ani Johnson

I’ve written concerning the history of children’s tea sets before, however these units are a lot smaller. The first dollhouse tea units weren’t truly meant for kids in any respect, however for adults. The historical past goes again to the 16th century, the place Dockenhaus (small homes) or ‘child homes’ had been collected to show wealth. Just like early porcelain teaware, dollhouses had been created to flaunt the riches of the proprietor. They may very well be replicas of the proprietor’s residence, or simply lovely homes in their very own proper. The rooms had been furnished with painstaking consideration to element. Tea units weren’t a component of dollhouse amassing till tea turned in style in Western Europe. From Forbes magazine:

Tiny tea units or items of furnishings weren’t initially made as kids’s playthings, though their small scale shares a pure affinity with the proportions of childhood. Miniatures have been made and picked up in Europe for the reason that 17th century, when miniature items of silver turned one of the primary nice amassing crazes.

In Holland and different European international locations these dollhouses appeared extra like grand cupboards, with rooms to show the treasures and trinkets acquired by their proprietor. Up till the mid 19th century, these ‘child homes’ had been expensive as they had been customized made for every proprietor. The tiny homes had been additionally used for younger ladies to learn to handle the family.

miniature tea pots and picture offered by Jo-Ani Johnson

Miniature tea units for dollhouses had been created for grand collectors in silver and wonderful porcelain, however they begin to pop up extra steadily within the Victorian period, the place they are often present in brass, porcelain, clay, and wooden. Mini tea units had been mass produced within the 19th century which made them extra inexpensive.

Once industrialization started, dollhouses turned inexpensive and had been thought-about toys for kids. At the time, if a toddler owned a dollhouse, they had been inspired to create the miniatures to furnish them as an alternative of simply buying premade items. Later, mass-produced furnishings and homes turned the norm.

Frans Hals Museum dollhouse. Credit Sailko, website
If you are eager about viewing doll homes from the previous, there are lots of museums which have them on show. Next time I’m in London I could have to see Queen Mary’s Doll House from the 1920s. It was commissioned to have each element of the royal residence, together with operating water and flushing bathrooms! And my favourite half, from this Medium article:

The Strong Room comprises an entire set of miniature crown jewels; a flowery trellis on the ceiling of the King’s Bedroom contains the opening bars of the National Anthem in its design; and the Saloon holds a pair of miniature throne chairs. The Queen added her personal objects to the House, too, together with a miniature dolls’ tea service in copper (offered to Queen Mary by her mom) and a small mannequin of a mouse made by the agency of Faberge.

Collecting Miniature Tea Sets

So, the place to start out amassing your individual miniature tea units? First you will wish to concentrate on a time interval. This can even decide the standard you will discover. Pieces from the Victorian period and earlier usually tend to be handmade and have wonderful particulars. Anything publish struggle by way of the tip of the 20th century will extra seemingly be mass-produced. But there are nonetheless handcrafted items to be present in all time intervals, and actually you must acquire what speaks to you. It would not matter if it is mass-produced or handcrafted, search for stuff you get pleasure from. If you are buying on-line, you will discover units of all kinds of high quality on etsy, ebay, and ruby lane. Sets can run a number of {dollars} for a 20th century set made in Japan, as much as the hundreds for an vintage French porcelain set. You can peruse antiques shops and native auctions to search out miniature units as effectively, however they might be a bit troublesome to search out. Dollhouse shops promote new units, and there is no motive why you may’t begin there. New units reminiscent of these are beautiful to have a look at, and are not an enormous funding.

Mini yixing and mamma pot, picture offered by Jo-Ani Johnson

I’ll undoubtedly be conserving my eyes open for extra classic miniature tea units sooner or later. Just like standard-sized teaware, when you’re bitten by the amassing bug, it is powerful to cease! If you’ve your individual particular miniature tea units, I’d love to listen to about them.

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