A longtime collector shares her advice.
I started collecting teacups around 1976, and in the decades since, I’ve amassed hundreds. I display some of them in my china hutch in my living room, but most are packed away in marked bins.
Thrift shops are always my first stop when looking to buy. I also check out flea markets, garage and estate sales, country auctions and antique shops. There are websites that have new and used teacups for sale that may be of interest, but I like to run my hand over the rim of a cup to check for chips or cracks, so I tend to be cautious with online purchases.
Decide on a budget before you get started collecting. I usually won’t spend more than $25, and I’ve paid as little as 10 cents. My collection is more of a hobby that can be as expensive as I allow it. Sometimes it’s just the thrill of the hunt.
I use some of my pieces for special occasions, like birthdays, socials with friends or when I do a workshop. Looking at my collection, I sometimes wonder who owned the pieces before me. What conversations have my teacups overheard? If only we could read it in the tea leaves.