…the tea-cups are particularly fine-lipped,
a feature much loved by the ladies. –
1898 comments from a travelling reporter for the Pottery Gazette
I inherited my Grandmother’s fine china a few years ago. It was on the occasion of my Grade 8 graduation, that she gave me a cup and saucer, and told me they would become mine one day.
Nana was a hard-working farm wife, who certainly couldn’t afford to purchase delicate things like this, nor would her practical nature allow her to do so, even if she could. At least not until several years after my grandfather died. She decided she would like some “pretty dishes”, so she began adding pieces. I have several items on display in my china cabinet, including place settings, the tea set, serving bowls, and even a salt & pepper shaker.
The “Old Country Roses” pattern launched in 1962, was based on an older Royal Albert pattern called King’s Ransom. I think Nana, a gardener and painter, was drawn to the rich roses in full bloom, which were inspired by English country gardens. The rims of each piece are accented with gold banding. This pattern has become synonymous with Royal Albert and it remains one of the best selling fine bone china patterns in the world.
Royal Albert originated in 1896 as the Albert Works, commemorating the birth of Prince Albert in 1895. Prince Albert was named after his great-grandfather. In 1904, the Royal Albert brand was launched.
The Royal Albert brand enjoys the distinction of two “Royal Warrants,” an honour bestowed on those who regularly supplied the Royal Family with goods or services. It is a mark of excellence and quality.
While my own “fine china” is very different to hers, I am honoured to be entrusted with her fine china. These roses in bloom shall certainly be a reminder of warm summer afternoons heady with the scent of a garden, even as the snow begins to cover the ground and trees outside.
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. – Albert Camus