I love browsing through antique shops. I get it from my mother. We’ve been known to spend hours or even days poking through antique shops when she comes to visit. One of the things I’m most drawn to in any antique shop is transferware dishes. I specifically love cups and saucers.This serving table in my formal dining room is perfect for them. One – we never use the formal dining room, so there’s little chance of breaking them. Two – it’s where Granny Lonon’s old silver coffee service sits. Granny Lonon was The Complete Package’s maternal grandmother, and a fabulously feisty woman. She is greatly missed. Her coffee set probably had something to do with my cup & saucer obsession. They go together so well. My original goal was to collect one excellent specimen from each color range. Sometimes, however, I found one in a color I already had and I would fall in love and bring it home anyway. Like the blue ones: This was one of my first. I love the simple landscape and the deep blue hue. And this little demitasse cup and saucer stole my heart. It looks really, really old. There’s no maker’s mark on it anywhere, but there are tiny bubbles and cracks in the glaze that make it look old and fragile. I love the detail of the handle, too. It’s very thin and very dainty. I wish I knew more about it. When was it made and by whom? If you’re a transferware expert, contact me! I knew this little black number was coming home with me as soon as I spotted her. It’s another English landscape, but I love the carriage pattern. The horseman is blowing a horn like he’s announcing that company has arrived. Time to break out the transferware! This brown peacock set is lovely. The detail around the edge of the saucer, rim of the cup and on the handle takes my breath away. I’m in love with the tiny flower inside each scallop. The saucer is every bit as lovely as the cup. I used this set in my post about Mom’s coffee shortbread cookies. Nothing but the best for one of mom’s recipes. I have no idea who the maker might be. There’s no name on it, but there is a cool maker’s mark that has a shield topped with a crown guarded by a lion carrying a flag on each side. I’m assuming it is also English. Most of my sets are. Is transferware primarily an English art? This little red siren called my name from across the room. I love the deep ruby red color of the glaze and the cabbage rose pattern along the edge of the saucer. It’s so very girly. Even the cup handle is delicate and pretty. She’s a real beauty. But unless my vision is off, she’s not old at all. The print on the back of the saucer is faded, but I’m pretty sure it says “Made in 1982”. So what if she’s a youngster. I love her anyway. But I saved my favorites for last. This was my first transferware purchase. My baby. Oh, how I love these little quails! They’re inside the lip of the cup, they’re on the outside of the cup, and they’re on the saucer, as well. Seven quails in all. Seven is my lucky number. This is the cup and saucer that started it all… the birth of an obsession. I love the brown that’s almost orange hue. Imagine how excited I must have been when I found this: It’s a blue demitasse quail set – a perfect “mini-me” version of its larger, browner cousin. This little beauty takes the cake. It’s tiny and exquisitely detailed and perfect in every way. I just love it to pieces. Oh…that’s probably bad luck. I mean it’s very special to me. Both of my quail cups are. What is it about transferware that fascinates me so? I can’t really pinpoint it. I love the simplicity of one single color painstakingly transferred by hand onto a white cup. I love the attention to detail. I love the idea that these were all lovingly made by hand by artisans back to the 1800’s. They’re fragile. They’re beautiful. They brought friends and family together. They’re from a dying art form in an industrial age. I think it’s all of that. Whatever it is, I’m hooked.