January is Hot Tea Month

For collectors, celebrating National Hot Tea Month is the perfect opportunity to add a new teapot, teacup or tea serving piece to a collection. We did a quick check of how tea-related collectibles have been selling at auction recently and included some of the highlights here.
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A three-piece Tiffany & Co. floral repoussé tea service, New York, circa 1875, comprising 1 teapot with hinged lid, 1 creamer and 1 waste bowl. Marks: “TIFFANY & CO, 3949T2990, STERLING,” 1-3/4 pints, 5 cups, 6-3/4” x 9-1/4” (tallest, teapot), $2,500.

A three-piece Tiffany & Co. floral repoussé tea service, New York, circa 1875, comprising 1 teapot with hinged lid, 1 creamer and 1 waste bowl. Marks: “TIFFANY & CO, 3949T2990, STERLING,” 1-3/4 pints, 5 cups, 6-3/4” x 9-1/4” (tallest, teapot), $2,500. 

A warm and soothing cup of tea is welcome any time of the day, especially when it’s cold outside — which is why January is National Hot Tea Month in the United States and Canada.

The United States remains the third-largest tea importer in the world, according to International Tea Committee statistics. Russia and Pakistan are first and second. It is appropriate that the U.S. celebrates this beverage that has grown in popularity from millennials to baby boomers.

Regular tea consumption supports wellness when combined with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. “The many bioactive compounds in tea appear to impact virtually every cell in the body to help improve health outcomes, which is why the consensus … is that drinking at least a cup of green, black, white or oolong tea a day can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health,” Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, told the Tea Association of The USA.

National Hot Tea Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the health benefits of tea, which was initially used in China for medicinal purposes.

Meissen swan-handle teacup and saucer set, heavy enameled floral swags and accents with heavy gilt, cup is 3” d x 2-1/2” h; saucer is 5-1/2” d x 1-1/4” h, $700.

Meissen swan-handle teacup and saucer set, heavy enameled floral swags and accents

Wedgwood blue jasperware tea cup and saucer after a design by Lady Templeton, 18th century, light blue body applied with classical figures depicting “domestic employment.” Saucer 5” dia, impressed lowercase mark, $985.

Wedgwood blue jasperware tea cup and saucer after a design by Lady Templeton, 18th century, light blue body applied with classical figures depicting “domestic employment.” Saucer 5” dia, impressed lowercase mark, $985.

For collectors, celebrating National Hot Tea Month is of course also the perfect opportunity to add a new teapot, teacup or tea serving piece to a collection.

We did a quick check of how tea-related collectibles have been selling at auction recently and included some of the highlights here.

One note of trivia that may be of interest to Holt-Howard collectors - and possibly fighting words for teacup collectors: One unexpected outcome of the Holt-Howard line was the eventual worldwide acceptance of the coffee mug. Prior to the mid-1950s, drinking coffee or tea from anything but a cup and saucer was unheard of in Canada and European markets, and to a lesser degree in the U.S. Holt-Howard was told that the company couldn’t be serious if it thought the traditional serving way would change, but within five years, consumer convenience won over tradition and mugs became a part of everyday living.

We think there’s room for both, so whether you drink your tea from a traditional cup or big mug, make yourself some and enjoy.

Green jade gilt bronze-handle tea pot, 15th Century Ming Dynasty Period, China. In the shape of a plum, with gilt bronze tripod handle, inlaid in cloisonne, multi-lobed vessel, with convex spigot issuing forth into a small aperture. Crown-shaped lid partitioned into lobed sections, with lobed patterned finial. Each gilt bronze tripod arm is fashioned with a cloisonne encrusted lotus flower at the joint, followed midway up the arm by imperial dragon festoon. The main body carved in melon fruit shape, with the dome lid finial bud, with original box; 11” h, 8-3/4” w, $3,000.

Green jade gilt bronze-handle tea pot, 15th Century Ming Dynasty Period, China. In the shape of a plum, with gilt bronze tripod handle, inlaid in cloisonne, multi-lobed vessel, with convex spigot issuing forth into a small aperture. Crown-shaped lid partitioned into lobed sections, with lobed patterned finial. Each gilt bronze tripod arm is fashioned with a cloisonne encrusted lotus flower at the joint, followed midway up the arm by imperial dragon festoon. The main body carved in melon fruit shape, with the dome lid finial bud, with original box; 11” h, 8-3/4” w, $3,000. Courtesy of Lauren Auctions

Theo Haviland Limoges tea set, gilt highlighted green platter with romantic scene at center, teapot with gilt handle, spout and edge, coordinating cream and sugar, 3 cups, 1 saucer, platter is 17-1/2”, $120.

Theo Haviland Limoges tea set, gilt highlighted green platter with romantic scene at center, teapot with gilt handle, spout and edge, coordinating cream and sugar, 3 cups, 1 saucer, platter is 17-1/2”, $120.

Henry van de Velde teacup and saucer, 1903/04, made by KPM Meissen before 1924, porcelain, relief, white, glazed, cobalt underglaze. Marked: Maker’s mark, 71 (blue, under glaze, two strokes), artist’s mark (embossed), $3,900.

Henry van de Velde teacup and saucer, 1903/04, made by KPM Meissen before 1924, porcelain, relief, white, glazed, cobalt underglaze. Marked: Maker’s mark, 71 (blue, under glaze, two strokes), artist’s mark (embossed), $3,900.

Russian Kornilow Brothers Tsarist porcelain Imperial Russian egg teacup, cover and saucer, 1900-1910, Aesthetic design. Saucer is 5-1/8” dia; cup is 4” h, including the lid, $1,295.

Russian Kornilow Brothers Tsarist porcelain Imperial Russian egg teacup, cover and saucer, 1900-1910, Aesthetic design. Saucer is 5-1/8” dia; cup is 4” h, including the lid, $1,295.

Rare caricature ceramic teapot made in the form of an uncharacteristically corpulent Theodore Roosevelt, with defined feet and left arm forming the handle, 4-1/2” h, 8” w, $1,500.

Rare caricature ceramic teapot made in the form of an uncharacteristically corpulent Theodore Roosevelt, with defined feet and left arm forming the handle, 4-1/2” h, 8” w, $1,500.

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) Tea Set, 1984, six glazed ceramic pieces, each with the artist’s stamped signature on the underside, published by Rosenthal Limiterte Kunstreihen, Germany, teapot is 5-1/2” x 9-1/2” x 5”, $6,250.

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) Tea Set, 1984, six glazed ceramic pieces, each with the artist’s stamped signature on the underside, published by Rosenthal Limiterte Kunstreihen, Germany, teapot is 5-1/2” x 9-1/2” x 5”, $6,250.

Lot of two Chinese silver and jeweled tea caddies, set with semi-precious stone including turquoise, 5-1/2” x 3-1/2”, $1,625.

Lot of two Chinese silver and jeweled tea caddies, set with semi-precious stone including turquoise, 5-1/2” x 3-1/2”, $1,625.

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