My daughter opines that five things make a collection (and my BFF agrees with her) so I suppose I have started a collection of tea cosies. My pinterest has a virtual collection… but I don’t actually own all of those. Here are the ones I do own:
This was my first tea cosy, before I dialed in exactly what I wanted. It’s a souviner from Scotland with embroidery on the front and ‘Frae Bonnie Scotland” embroidered around the highland piper. The embroidery is a pocket and there’s a small ‘hat’ in it- which I have discovered is a potholder for the teapot handle- clever! I would guess this is midcentury or so although it could be earlier.
I love the detail on this one- the birdcage, the stalking cat, the flower pot in the window, the bootscraper at the back door
This is really close to the one I want that started this whole thing- except it’s an Inn rather than a cottage. By the sign, I’m guessing it would be called the Ship Inn
This one is really for Emily- I like the more elaborate cottages… but it’s Beatrix Potter and it’s a cottage, if printed rather than embroidered, so we got it. Tag says that it’s a Sari design.
Hello, cat. Not a cottage at all but how can you resist the expression on that face? We can’t use it much though because when we set it up on the table, we’re always forgetting and yelling ‘Cat!’ which, of course, upsets the cats who were not doing anything wrong (at the moment). Tag on the inside says that it’s a Sari design as well.
This is called Winter Wonderland and the pattern is available on Etsy. Since I am not much of a knitter, I contracted someone else to knit the pattern for me… and make the deer and birds brown so they can be better seen. So far, it’s my most expensive one- which is funny as I generally do not like the knitted/crocheted cosies. It also just barely fits into the parameters of what I decided to collect.
My latest cosy (as of May 2018)- another Inn- this one is obviously the Red Lion. I like the many materials used to create it- not just embroidery and raffia (or straw) but also leather and the sign is wired and attached by what seems to be a drapery hook so that it stands straight out from the cosy. The chimney is fortified inside with a box (maybe cardboard?) so that it is stiff and not as subject to crushing. And I like the foaming mug on the bench beside the open front door.
When I started collecting tea cosies, I wanted a cottage (specifically the cottage pictured in the Daily Mail). With this sort of collection, you can’t just hare off and start collecting anything called a ‘tea cosy’, you have to get a lot more specific or you’ll end up with a huge amount of things (definition of ‘horde’ varies but in this case, it would be a horde by any definition) and no money. Especially if, like me, you look for bargins. In my opinion, you should only collect the ‘best’ of whatever you are collecting- definition of ‘best’ left open to the user.
I narrowed my parameters to ‘cottage tea cosy’, not knitted or crocheted, preferably thatched roof with embroidery and unusual. Plus I have to really love it, not just ‘it fits the parameters’. I’ve seen several printed cottage cosies but I’m only interested in one of them and the so-called Berlin work or tapestry cosies (needlepoint) don’t really interest me either. So, just by narrowing what I’m collecting, I’ve saved quite a lot of money and space.
I have a new tea cosy!
It’s a Samuel Lamont printed cosy from the 1990s- a nice little Irish cottage with a white cat on the doorstep and black cats in the windows. This is the only printed cosy I have seen that interested me at all.
I have also found another printed cosy that I like- it’s a much earlier cosy and is a cover rather than a full cosy as it is not padded or even lined. I’ll make a removable padded insert to go inside it.
I am guessing by the colours and the amount of fading that this one is circa 1930 or so and is possibly American in make.