- Abbey Museum Case 12
- England and France
- c 1870 – 1890 AD
- D 40 to 40 mm
White opaline lampworked glass miniature tea set pieces are decorated with hand painted stylized bright red flowers and green leaves.
The items in this tea set appear to have been reassembled from three different sets.
The glass, especially of the tea cups, saucers and jugs, is very finely made. The items appear to be of French origin, due to the translucent appearance of the glass. This could indicate the use of tin oxide as the whitening agent, having been added to glass at time of production.
Miniature items of dinnerware were often used in dolls’ houses and to furnish dioramas of living rooms, kitchens or inns by hobbyists in Victorian times.
I think it is incredible that tiny, fragile objects, like this miniature glass tea set, survive the passage of time. Especially as these objects were often used in children’s dolls houses, no doubt taken out by young Victorian girls when they hosted their dolls for an afternoon tea party. I love how these are decorated with beautiful miniature red roses, most likely mimicking examples used by adults for their High Teas when friends and families came to visit.
Where is it?
This artefact is on display now in case 12 titled ‘Luxury in Glass’, featuring glass from 1600-1850AD. You may go back to the Exhibition Home page and browse our virtual tour.