On the Fringes of the Prairie, 1800-1850
Objects Pink luster tea set, 1825-1835
Pink luster tea set, 1825-1835

Teatime in America followed various British traditions, including the refined four o'clock "tea" with delicate sandwiches, relishes, cake, and oysters. In the early ninteenth century many working people moved the afternoon tea to a six o'clock supper or "high tea." On occasions the evening tea became a party with music and dancing. This English tea set is hand-painted with a pink pigment made by adding gold to a mixture of clay, sand, and iron salts. When fired the resulting metallic luster varied from a pale pink to ruby or purple.

Made in England
Hand-painted porcelain
Gift of Mildred Alexander Campbell, Springfield, IL (702206)

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