Miniature Tea and Coffee Set

Object Name: 
Miniature Tea and Coffee Set

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Object Name: 
Miniature Tea and Coffee Set
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
98.2.1
Dimensions: 
Teapot H: 7.8 cm; Sugar Bowl H: 4.4 cm; Cups & Saucers H (max): 3.5 cm; (min): 3 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
about 1785
Web Description: 
These miniature glass dishes probably belonged to a little girl who lived in England in the 18th century. The set includes coffee cups, tea bowls with saucers, a teapot, a covered sugar bowl and creamer, and a bread and butter plate. At the end of the 18th century, tea and coffee were still luxuries that were kept under lock and key. People poured a little cream or milk and sugar into their tea to counteract the effects of tannin, which was thought to hurt the nerves and to cause "various distempers, vapours and fits." The owner of this fragile toy would have used it under the supervision of an adult, learning how to serve tea and coffee in polite society. Few of these sets survive in good condition. A complete set made of glass-rather than of porcelain, ceramic, or pewter-is extremely rare. The unusual bluish green color of the glass was fashionable in the last quarter of the 18th century.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Russell, Rachel, Source
1998-01-20
Primary Description: 
Transparent deep turquoise glass; blown, tooled.