Details for our September 2018 meeting are being finalized and will be announced soon.
Prices realized for items sold in the 2017 Convention auction will be published in the Winter issue of Tea Leaf Readings.
The Tea Leaf Journey from England to Mid-America
by Gaylon Gwin, Teaf Leaf PR Chair
In mid-September, Tea Leaf Club International members travelled to St. Louis, Missouri, for their 38th annual convention. It was fitting that the convention’s educational theme centered on the travels of Tea Leaf ironstone from the kilns of England to the homes of early settlers in America’s heartland.
Every year members look forward to the gathering as an opportunity to socialize, renew friendships, and share their experiences in searching for and purchasing the beloved Tea Leaf, including variants and other copper lustre decorated ironstone. Convention activities include welcoming new members, informal discussions around the dinner table, an informative tour of the host city’s historical sites, table sales of Tea Leaf related items, educational presentations, and the much-anticipated auction.
Following a delightful game about Tea Leaf body styles, answers were presented through a demonstration of matching the makers and body styles using the Online Identification Guide. The Guide, accessed through the Tea Leaf website, is an excellent source of information about the potters and their history, body styles, motifs, and descriptions of the various pieces. At this time, the Guide contains over 1800 photos. More are added regularly by the Education Committee, as information becomes available. Use of the Tea Leaf Online Identification Guide is free and available to the public.
The presentation of Tea Leaf travels was incorporated in a skit with characters sharing their involvement in the journey. It emphasized the many aspects of Tea Leaf Ironstone from manufacturing to shipping to retail to collecting. The majority of Tea Leaf travelled over 4,200 miles, over 100 years ago. Just having beautiful pieces to admire now is nothing short of amazing!
At auction time, 180 lots were offered. Bidding was robust, with some items selling for bargain amounts and some very pricey, depending on the collectors’ interests and wallets. The highest bid was garnered by a rare Teaberry motif mug at $700. Among the other high bid items were an unusual Teaberry brush vase, a Teaberry ewer and basin, a Wedgwood Fleur-De-Lis Chain Tea Leaf brush vase, a Burgess Tea Leaf brush vase with under-plate, and a Meakin brocade Tea Leaf three-piece soup tureen. More than 50 lots sold for more than $100.
With the 2017 Convention completed, members now look forward to September 2018, when they will convene again to celebrate Tea Leaf Ironstone. Meanwhile, the search for interesting and usual pieces of the durable ironstone continues
The Tea Leaf Club is dedicated to the study and collection of Tea Leaf Ironstone China and its Variants, produced in England and America from the mid-19th century through the early 1900s. The club boasts hundreds of members from almost every state in the union who collect, study, love, and appreciate the simple beauty and endurance of Tea Leaf Ironstone China. The club welcomes new members and enthusiastically shares their appreciation for the sturdy, attractive pottery. Visit the Club’s web site www.tealeafclub.com to learn more about Tea Leaf Ironstone.