Willow patterned items come in every shape and size you can think of; in different hues of blue; and with variations of the traditional pattern. There is a story behind my acquisition of this very large teacup that is displayed in my lounge.

A fellow student, who happened to hail from Rhodesia, gave me his cup – very similar to this one – to look after during one vacation. It obviously meant a lot to him and so I packed it carefully and took it home with me to the Eastern Transvaal. It proved to be a great hit with my parents and I served tea in it for my father – it holds the equivalent of four ordinary tea cups.

I fell in love with the cup and saucer and, once I had returned it to its rightful owner, set about looking for one of my own. During the early 1970s, Pietermaritzburg boasted several interesting second-hand shops tucked away in delightful winding lanes in the city centre. You can imagine my delight when, after much trawling, I found exactly what I was looking for!

The R5 I willingly paid for it in 1971 might sound laughable now, but it was a lot to me then – this is no wonder when the inflation conversion table I consulted tells me that it was the equivalent of R345 now! I would not fork out that amount now, yet this cup and saucer has given me great pleasure for over fifty years.


36 thoughts on “A VERY LARGE TEA CUP

  1. Looks like it has stood the test of time!

    So, in terms of today’s values, its cost of ownership to you has been less than R7 per year…



  2. This is the size of cup that I would like for my morning cup of tea. ha… It is a beauty as well as being large.


  3. I love that story! Happy endings all around…. I have a somewhat similar mug which has a story of good friends behind it, and it is so sturdy. About the same age as your cup and saucer, and still my favorite. It always amazes me that I haven’t broken it.


  4. Anne, I have your extra large tea cup’s identical twin! I am in my home in Miami, Florida, USA, literally drinking cappuccino out of it right now! I can’t remember if I bought it from an antique store here in Miami or in California but I’ve had it for over 20 years. It’s so oddly massive. No markings on the bottom. On a whim, I decided to research it’s origins this morning and found your article! As I’m sipping away my two-cappuccino’s-size in Miami , I will think of you sipping your four-teacups-size in the Eastern Transvaal! I wish I could figure out how to insert the photo of it. I am a huge collector of blue and white porcelain so I know when something is identical! Cheers!! (Let me know how I can post the photo of mine to show you!)


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