History teaches about the Boston Tea Party on December 1, 1773.
Tea is an important part of our history.
Awhile back, a vendor brought me some little plates and explained that they are “cup plates.” Cup plates are like coasters for tea cups; they were introduced to the tea society around the 1700’s in England and in the United States during the first half of the 19th century.
Tea was originally consumed from “tea bowls.” In the 1700’s saucers were placed with the tea bowls. The tea was too hot to drink therefore was poured into the saucer to cool before consumption. Tea cups, at that time, had no handles. In order to drink the tea from the saucer two hands were needed, which made it necessary to put the cups down. The saucers were used to protect furniture from marks left by the tea cups.
In the 1750’s teacups with handles were introduced. It took a while to get used to cups with handles and saucers, but it eventually spread, and at that time cup plates were no longer necessary.
The vendor had authentic cup plates, as well as some commemorative cup plates-seven plates altogether. They are all between 3 ¼ and 3 ½ inches in diameter. They are clear glass and have decorative designs.
This is another good example of how to use your five senses when attempting to identify “the real thing.”
The vendor explained how to authenticate these cup plates;
Hold the plate between your thumb and forefinger then…
thump the end.
If it is authentic it will make a clear “ping” sound.
If it is not authentic it will make a “plunk” sound.
The weight of the commemorative plates is also heavier than the real ones.
The old cup plates are true antiques if you can find them. And now you will know how to tell if you have the real deal. They cost about $3.50 each.
Now, get on out there and hunt up some cup plates! :)
-The GA Gang