[This post was composed for the 8th Edition of the Cabinet of Curiosities hosted at Walking The Berkshires]
Some of you may know that I have an obsession with certain pieces of china, an obsession border on being a fetish. As moths are to a flame, women to a pair of great shoes, so I am to an unusual piece of china. What I give you in this chapter of The China Syndrome is my much prized, much scoffed at, but very valuable Queen Elizabeth II (Large) Tea Pot designed by Paul Cardew.
I purchased this on Ebay, the source of almost all my china purchases, in 2004 after I moved to Chicago. The teapot comes in two versions, small and large, and was made in 2002 as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Currently, this teapot is very rare and difficult to find - when they appear on Ebay, the bidding gets a bit crazy. When I bought mine only four years ago, I believe I paid the opening bid price which was ridiculously low.
Why do I like this unusual porcelain item? Well, what's not to like? When sitting on a table in an entry way, many visitors either ask right away, "Is that what I think it is?" or they'll just walk by and make a mental note and mention the item later.
I also like the fact that while it seems quite refined to us as Americans, I think our Canadian and United Kingdom readers might consider it a bit of tacky. To me it would be better if the tea came out of the old gal's nose but that is a bit over the top.
And when I use it, the pot matches the gold band china I use for my candlelight suppers - you know, the kind Hyacinth Bouquet is also inviting people to.