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The Tea Sets

As the fashion for afternoon tea grew during the nineteenth century, silversmiths, linen manufacturers, and pottery and porcelain companies began to produce a wide range of tea wares suited to the elegance of the occasion. In the eighteenth century a full tea service usually consisted of twelve tea bowls or cups and saucers, milk jug, sugar bowl, slop bowl, spoon tea tray, teapot, teapot stand, tea caddy or canister, hot-water jug, coffee pot, and coffee cups, and saucers. In the nineteenth century cake plates and side plates were added. Silver tea wares were made as matching sets of teapot, hot-water jug, sugar bowl, and milk jug or creamer, all of which usually sat on their own matching tray. Other equipage included teaspoons, strainers, tea knives, pastry forks, cake knives and slices, muffin dishes, tablecloths with neat matching table napkins, tray cloths, cozies, and caddies.