Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Cotswolds and Shelley China

I knew nothing about Shelley fine bone china before 2000.   My girlfriend enlightened me one day while we were antiquing after she had begun her collection of Shelley teacups and saucers. 

When my hubby and I were in England in 2001, I purchased my first Shelley "trio" set - a teacup and saucer and a dessert plate.   A printout dated 7/21/2001 in my file indicates I began researching the beautiful china after my purchase. The information [which hopefully is accurate] states Shelley was incorporated in 1925, although family members produced pottery much earlier than that. Shelley's popularity peaked in the 1930's and their potteries ceased production in 1966.    Shelley china is popular and very collectible today.  The plate of Queen Elizabeth II in the photo below is a Shelley, but it was purchased after my trip to England at a local antique store.

What fun re-reading my journal of our 2001 trip  to England for this post.  We toured some of the Cotswolds.  Cotswold is an Anglo Saxon word.   Cots = safe haven, and wold = gently rolling hills.   We spent an afternoon in Chipping Camden,  where I purchased my Shelley trio set.   "Chipping" is also a Saxon word for market, and in the photo below a friend and I [from Australia who I met on the tour] were headed off to the antique stores!

These quaint shops beat going to the mall any day!

We had a cream tea at a lovely outdoor Cotswold Tea Room called, "Corner's Tea Room and Garden."  The scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam were divine!  My journal reminded me  that I ate two and had to forgo dinner that night!

It was a beautiful day and we got to eat outside in the garden at umbrella tables.  The photo below is the owner of the tea room and me.

The Cotswold dwellings are beautiful.  Our guide told us they were 16th & 17th century limestone cottages.

My girlfriend gifted me this past Saturday with the Shelley cup and saucer in the photo below.  Previously, she gave me the trio set and ashtray/trinket dish in the Regency White and Gold dainty shape, which is one of Shelley's most popular patterns.  Don't I have a wonderful girlfriend?  [Actually she was wonderful even before she gave them to me!]  She and her husband had a Shelley booth at an antique mall for a time,  and they have a lovely collection of Shelley china in several patterns and shapes.  She can set a complete table using the Regency White and Gold Shelley dainty dishes, and it's beautiful.

The china in the photo below concludes my small Shelley collection.   I acquired the sugar and creamer at an estate sale, and the "Dainty Blue" dessert plate came from an antique store.  The cup and saucer that matches was a gift from a lady at church one Christmas. 

She came to dinner at my house one evening and saw a tray I have displayed in my dining area with the "Dainty Blue" teacup pictured on it, and decided the teacup belonged in my house instead.  I thought maybe she didn't realize what a treasure she had and tried to tell her.  She said she knew it was collectible, but she had enjoyed it for a while and wanted me to enjoy it too.


  1. Oh, how lovely, must have been a dream up true to visit the Cotswolds and have tea and scones! I love your Shelly collection and yes, you do have wonderful friends!

  2. I enjoyed seeing your photos of travels in the Cotswolds. I'm sure we have visited some of the same villages and shops. What a special friend to share her Shelley with you!

  3. What a great trip and treasures too!

  4. Shelley teacups are gorgeous! Love the Cotswold's.

  5. Cream tea in the Cotswolds ... heavenly! And that first trio you bought in England is the same pattern on my teacup (and some new Royal Albert dishes) I posted about on March 29. I am surprised (and newly enlightened!) to see that Shelley had at least one pattern in common with others. I'll bet that didn't happen often, surely ... I continue to lust over Shelley chintz teacups, but I just can't bring myself to pay what they are bringing these days. Happily, though, I received a Dainty Pink Shelley sugar and creamer as a wedding gift. That is lovely that your friend shared that blue teacup with you--and I'm sure she knew it would have a great new home!

  6. I have a friend who collects Shelley, and can set a whole table with Shelley Dainty Blue. It is truly lovely!

  7. This reminds me that I so want to go on a tea tour in England someday. The last time I tried, the price had gone up, and I wasn't able to afford it. I still have hopes, and your post with memories of your trip sure made me think about it some more.
    I too love Shelley, and have some given to me by friends also.


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