This is a super charming "tête a tête" tea service made by Royal Crown Derby in 1892. It consists of a teapot, two demitasse teacups and saucers, a milk jug and a lidded sucrier or sugar box. I also have two more cups and saucers, however these are not in perfect condition but I will add them for free.


All items are made of the finest bone china. The set is printed with a famous Imari-inspired pattern - one of the many that Royal Crown Derby became famous for.


It was fashionable in the 19th and early 20th Century to have little tea sets for two and these were called "tête a tête", which is French for "head to head" as it suggests intimate conversation. Sometimes they were called "breakfast sets", as they of course would be very suitable for breakfast, whether in bed, the dining room or the garden.


Crown Derby was one of the most prominent potteries right from the start of English porcelain production in the late 1700s to the demise of the industry in the 1960s. Their items are of exceptionally high quality and many of the designs have become iconic. In 1890 they received the addition "Royal" to their name, which means the Queen gave her protection to the company. This set was made shortly after that; it was a hugely productive period in which they came out with many newly stylised Imari designs in terracotta red, cobalt blue and gilt.


The tea service has number 5231 and the year code for 1899.


The set is in excellent condition and good for use, and it would make a wonderful addition to any interior design - whether modern or classic.


CONDITION REPORT This set is in excellent antique condition. It has very little wear and no crazing. The only flaw is that one of the handles of the sucrier was broken and has been professionally reattached, see last picture. It has been re-fired and touched up with render and gilt so although it is entirely stable, it should only be exposed to hot water and not be submerged for longer than a brief moment when washed, but a quick wash should be fine and as the sucrier is meant to hold dry sugar, this repair should not be an obstacle to using it. All other pieces are in splendid condition.


I have two extra cups and saucers available and am happy to include those at no cost, however one of the cups has a hairline and the other is a bit yellowed with crazing. Please see second picture for the full set.


Kilns were fired on coal in the late 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. This set is relatively free from these imperfections, save some very small specks.


Please note that all items in my shop are of vintage or antique condition. They have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear. I will reflect any damage, repairs or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks and stains can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.


There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can see with the eye; a hairline runs over the surface glazing but not the body of the item and a crack runs through the body of the item, usually weakening its structure. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS (diameter at the widest point): teapot stands 14.5cm (5 3/4") high incl. finial and measures 24.5cm (9 3/4") from handle to spout, sucrier stands 11cm (4 1/4") high incl. finial and measures 14.5cm (5 3/4") from handle to handle, milk jug stands 8cm (3 1/4") high incl. handle and measures 11cm (4 1/4") from handle to mouth, teacup stands 5.5cm (2 1/4") high and is 6.5cm (2.5") in diameter, saucer 11.5cm (4.5") in diameter.


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Breakfast set, Royal Crown Derby 1899

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