This is the story of a teapot — a very special little teapot –a strangely configured teapot and, as it happens, a coffeepot to match.
It all started with a DVD Paul and I were watching one night a little while ago. We have a boxed set of DVDs of some plays by Terence Rattigan, a British playwrite, that turned out to be very good viewing. Each play is so different. One was only a short little one, and then we watched his play called “French Without Tears.”
Various versions of this play have been made and filmed, but this version stars Anthony Andrews and Michael Gambon, two of my all-time favourite actors. The play takes place in France at the home of a French professor where several students (adults) are gathered to learn French for various reasons. Anthony Andrews was learning it to become a diplomat. Anyway, the point of this story is the teapot.
Most of the play was centered around a big farmhouse table where all the characters would gather each day to eat and have conversation. There was always a brown teapot in the middle of the big table, and one or another of the characters would be pouring out tea or coffee for the others from it.
Paul didn’t notice it at first, but I did, right away. The teapot, which was similar to what they call a “Brown Betty” in England, was quite different in that the handle was on the side and not at the usual back of the pot. It was situated at 90 degrees from the spout, not at 180 degrees from the spout, if you can picture that. Well, you don’t have to picture it, just see the teapot itself on this page above and below, which is now my new teapot!
I was fascinated by this design. The following day I went online and started scouring the web for a teapot like this. They are very rare and not easy to locate. I did find one on EBay but I think it had been sold. I found a picture of one on a personal blog, and the owner was just showing it off as a strange looking teapot but she didn’t really know anything about it.
Then I found a picture of a small one at a website called Oh So Vintage. Ruth, the owner, is located in Hampshire, England, and she had this cute little brown teapot for sale at her shop! It came with a coffeepot, also with the handle on the side just like the teapot, and they were marked for sale at the incredibly low (in my opinion) price of 12 pounds sterling for the pair of them.
However, there was one little glitch. It said on her web site that this item was “not appropriate for shipping out of the UK.” Oh No!
Where there’s a will, there’s usually a way (in my book), so I wrote Ruth an email right away and put it to her – I loved that little teapot (and coffeepot, as well) and if I offered her more money, would it be possible to ship it across the pond to me, if she would just wrap it up really well so it wouldn’t break on the journey?
The next day I heard from Ruth. What a champ! She said that, as it happened, her husband was going to be flying across the pond in a few days’ time as he had business in the U.S., and that if I wanted, I could buy it now and she would see if she could wrap it up and fit it in his luggage. He would then post it to me by mail once he was here in the U.S.
I said “Yes, please!” and pretty soon she had wrapped it up and wrote me back saying it would, indeed, fit in his luggage. He was going to Philadelphia and he could take it with him and mail it up to me when he got here.
Oh, I was over the moon happy. I went ahead and bought it on her site and by the next day all the arrangements were made, her husband took off for the U.S., and true to his word, and Ruth’s word about wrapping it up really well, the teapot and coffeepot arrived here within a few days’ time without any problems.
I just love it. With the little 90 degree handles. You can see I have another brown teapot that sits with these vintage ones. It’s one I bought from a British website and it’s not technically a Brown Betty, but it’s pretty close. The style is a bit different, but I like it just the same.
So that’s the story of my little vintage teapot from England. Ruth also mentioned that this set actually belonged to her mother who collected vintage pots like this. So I assured her that I would love them and care for them and that I’d send her a photo of where they were finally living now, here in my dining room. I hope she is happy with everything about them now. I am still in awe that they were not that expensive, were made in England (Royal Worcester) and that the whole transaction went so smoothly.
Again, thanks Ruth, if you ever pop in here and read this entry, for everything. I love your vintage items on the web site and wish I could afford to buy some of that linen you have there, but as it happens, I am making a New Year’s resolution in a couple of days’ time which is to be FRUGAL for a change. That means no more buying things I don’t NEED. It will be hard for me, but I really need to stop spending money and start saving it again. I have all I could want here now so away we go…into the year of frugality – 2013! I hope that by announcing this resolution here, it will be easier for me to resist my natural inclination to purchase things which, thanks to this internet thing we have now, is all too easy!
Back to basics for me, and my needlepoint project that I’m working on. That keeps me out of trouble for long periods of time lately!