Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Powell, Bishop & StonierQ: While in New Orleans recently, I was seduced by an old demitasse set. There are 18 cups and saucers with a black/brown transferware pattern with these markings: "Honfleur, Rd 7999, PB & S." Now that I have this lovely set at home in Santa Barbara, I'm wondering if I was overcome by the sweet olive and Sazerac! I would appreciate any information.

A: Your demitasse set was made by Powell, Bishop & Stonier, a company that worked in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England, from 1878 to 1891. The company was founded by Edwin Powell, a potter, John Bishop, lawyer, and John Stonier, a dealer in Liverpool, England. "Honfleur" is the name of the pattern. Powell, Bishop & Stonier made a large quantity of ironstone china for export, so it is not unusual to find it in the United States. Demitasse cups can serve another use today. Not only are they appropriate for the coffee served as demitasse, but they are also being used to serve custard-like desserts and mousse. That means more demand, so prices have gone up in the last few years. Each cup and saucer is worth about $10-$15.


Sandys said...

I have also used demitasse cups to serve chilled soup at summer parties. Another unique possibility for small servings include shot glasses (starring your collection!). Watch for unusual ways to use pretty single items. I pick up pretty old salt shakers and fill them with dusting powder, tie a ribbon on, and deliver to friends in hospital. Nice to sprinkle on a pillowcase to eliminate the hospital odor. Thanks for an informative and enjoyable newsletter!

Catherine said...

I thought this design looked familiar and sure enough I have a dinner plate displayed on my kitchen plate rack in what I think is a different colourway. The plate belonged to my great, great grandma who had a lodging house in Brighton, UK in the 1880s and it was part of a much larger set used for guests. This is the only plate I have and my brother has one other. I also enjoy reading your newsletter. Catherine