Editor’s note: This is another in the Collectors Journal occasional series, “The Young Collectors.” We are interested in hearing from young people who are “into” antiques and collectibles. If you know of anyone who has started a collection or is continuing a collection, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com or via Telephone at (319) 472-4763.
In a fortuitous meeting, Emily Watry of Lombard, Illinois, visited my vendor booth at the March Kane County Flea Market on Saturday, March 6. She looked at the one pretty blue glass teacup and saucer, trimmed in gold, and told me she was a collector of teacups. That nonchalant comment immediately sparked my interest. I’m always thrilled to meet members of the younger generation who collect! Containing my excitement, we chatted for a while and I told her about the series we do in Collectors Journal about young collectors.
She returned the next day with her mom, Trish. We all chatted some more and I got contact information and contacted her soon thereafter. Here is Emily’s collection story:
“I was asked if I wanted a 16th birthday party or to go on an antiquing trip to Lake Geneva,” Emily said in our telephone interview. Emily chose the trip. “My mom wanted me to start a collection and my teacup collecting began on that trip.”
Emily found a beautiful teacup with a pinwheel handle and that kicked off her love of teacups, saucers and more! Ironically Emily said she is not a tea or coffee drinker, but loves her many cups that she finds in a variety of antique shops, flea markets and other sales. She said she usually pays between $5 and $20 for cups and saucers.
Emily has also received several sets of teacups from family and friends. “My mom was a caregiver to Jean, and when Jean passed Trish asked for a few teacups as a way to remember her.” The family complied and Emily has a few treasured cups and saucers from the late, Jean. Emily’s brother, Joey, has also purchased a set depicting, the Blessed Virgin Mary — that according to the seller, Rosemary Thomas, a well-known porcelain painter located in Seward, Nebraska. The Blessed Mother’s face can be seen in the bottom of the cup. Joey paid $40 for that set, which is may be the most money paid for a set in Emily’s collection. Another unusual aspect of this set is the rectangular saucer and cup shape, Emily said.
Emily is interested in unusual teacups and saucers and has sets from around the world, including a Russian set; Denmark, a limited edition set, as well as Bavaria which was part of a set of china Emily’s grandpa sent her great-grandmother while he was in the Army. In addition, teacups in the collection hail from England, Belgium, Pakistan and France. Several of the sets are marked with Occupied Japan. She has a 1959 teacup and saucer in Royal Albert china with the faces of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Trish told me an interesting story about the set of china sent by her grandfather. “Grandma wouldn’t allow him to use the teacups and saucers from the set, because his fingers were too big and she was afraid he’d break the handles,” Trish said with a laugh.
Emily’s very favorite teacup and saucer is a gold, 3-D fish set with gold trim around the edges. Other interesting sets include a miniature tea set with creamer and sugar as well as one that resembles a flower. “The saucer is flower petals,” Emily said.
In the relatively short time she’s been collecting, Emily has done a great deal of purchasing – so much that she’s got three cabinets and curios filled with cups and saucers. And that’s not all. Recently she’s gotten interested in unusual teapots and knickknacks.
Family and friends present Emily with gifts in the area of porcelain teacups and such. She recently celebrated her 20th birthday and received six teacups. “I had just said that I don’t need anymore, but I’m happy to have them.”
Lately with such a large collection Emily also looks for teacup racks and stands to showcase her beautiful collection.
I’m sure we’ll hear more from Emily as her collection multiplies and expands! In the meantime, she likely keep looking for more and unusual cups and saucers. “I’m always looking for the unusual.”