Tea with an Early Industrialist
So what does linseed oil have to do with teacups?
Well, a while ago I had the privilege of having a look at the estate of the family of a friend. It turned out that their great-great grandfather had been an early British industrialist, who invented a way to produce linseed oil on an industrial scale, enabling many famous steam engines to run on it.
If you've heard of Locomotion One, the first British public passenger train in 1825, or Sir James Clark Ross, who located the Northern Magnetic Pole in 1831 - that was with the help of the linseed oil of my friend's forebear.
It was a time when clever young people could become rich overnight, and they bought themselves big houses and filled them up with lots of beautiful porcelain.
These are some of the left overs of the beautiful house this family would have lived in: there is a set of two breakfast cups made by Crown Derby in about 1815, and a teacup and saucer, a bowl and two plates made by Coalport between 1820 and 1825.