Gorgeous Teacup Finds Online

In our strange new reality, I’ve had to forego one of my top pleasures: thrifting! When my children were small, my Saturday-morning escape was a two-hour tour of my favorite local flea market. I didn’t always bring something home, but when I did, it was often a beautiful teacup and saucer, which my husband would greet with, “Oh, good, another teacup. We don’t have enough of those.” Phyllis Barkey’s husband likely knows how mine feels, but really, her collection is a thing of beauty. (Note the picture below represents a portion of her collection).

Phyllis Barkey of Relevant Tea Leaf blog's living room teaset collection
One section of Phyllis Barkey’s tea collection
Photo Credit: Relevant Tea Leaf

Missing Some Good Thrifting!

The best is that moment when your eyes spy something precious to you, and the price is an unbelievable steal. For us sentimental folks, there’s also a joy in imagining the times that this piece of furniture, this dress, this teapot lived through; the family and friends it served; how it may have been someone’s favorite thing. Perhaps those former owners have passed on, and yet this item has lasted, and can serve a new family, in a new time.

Angela's favorite teacup and saucer thrift store find
My favorite thrift store teacup find, bought for less than $10.

Mix Up Your Tea Service Collection!

While I am grateful to have china cups from both sides of my family, and it warms my heart to set the table with them, my creative self LOVES the idea of having a mix-and-match tea service. There are just too many artistic, romantic, stunning china patterns to fill my cabinet with only one or two complete teasets. You’ve got to leave room to discover a new piece that you love. But where to look when stores are closed?

Collecting A Complete Tea Service

Remember that to serve a proper afternoon tea, you’ll need to stock your china cabinet with one or several:

  • Teacups and saucers
  • Teapot
  • Creamer
  • Sugar bowl
  • Dessert/salad plates
  • Condiment pots or small serving dishes (like mine pictured below)
  • Spoon rests (pin dishes can be used)
  • Tiered trays
  • Cake plate with dome
  • Children’s teasets
This small glass dish I found for less than $5 is the perfect serving dish for clotted cream, lemon curd and preserves.

The Gift of A Special Teacup

Important Note: Because the online vendor has done the hunting for you, you will typically pay more for the find than you would in a flea market or thrift store.

If you find a lovely teacup on the pricy side, consider that it would make the perfect gift to lift a tea friend’s spirits. You could deliver it along with delicious tea and tea treats and let her show it off at your next virtual tea party.

Angela's inherited family heirloom teacup and saucer
Given to me by my mother-in-law, this early 1900’s teacup and saucer reminds me of her each time I use it.

Finding Secondhand Teaware Online

Teapot, teacup and teaset collectors, the search for fabulous finds must go on! We’ve assembled a list of online secondhand teaware vendors, where you can find beautiful vintage pieces from the safety of your home. (To buy new, see our list of online tea shops).

Antiques and Teacups, Washington

All teaware and linens

The Brooklyn Teacup, New York

Three-tier and two-tier stands (option: can be made from your own china), teacups and saucers

Prairie Vintage Shop, Edmonton

Primarily teacups with saucers, some teapots, creamers, sugar bowls

Replacements, Ltd., North Carolina

All teaware, new and previously used, as well as a “Find This for Me” feature

The Teacup Attic, Ontario

Teacups with saucers, vintage glass, and “The Missing Piece” orphaned cups or saucers

The Vintage Teacup Shop, Massachusetts

All teaware, plus crystal and glass tableware

The Vintage Teacup & Vintage Keepsakes, Florida

Teaware and table linens

Tell Us Where You Shop

Of course there’s always Etsy and eBay, for which you may want to filter “shop location” by North America to cut down on shipping costs. Many of the above local businesses offer free shipping in North America. If you have a favorite online vintage teaware vendor, please comment below, and we’ll update this list – thank you!

Show Us Your Latest Teaware Additions

Tag your social media posts with #destinationtea so we can see your newest find, and we’ll share our favorites. Happy teacup hunting!

DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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