Welcome to AprilsLuxuries

We are often asked if there are any things to look for and avoid when buying old teacups.

The C's:

  1.  Crazing
  2.  Chips
  3.  Cracks

These are the main things to avoid. Chips and cracks can harbor bacteria.  Eventually they will also turn dark and are unattractive as well.

When being made, the clay along with its clear coat is placed in an oven called a kiln.  Sometimes they expand at two different rates and the clay which is under the glaze becomes larger than its coating.  Then a web like pattern develops on the surface.  Most often crazing evolves because people pour boiling water into a cup or a teapot.  The heat is unevenly distributed and often causes the dread crackling.  Dishwashers can also make this happen.

Arabia of Finland is a quality company.  It even says Dishwasher Proof, yet crazing has occurred. 

Is it so bad?  It will shorten the life of your china.  Eventually darkness will appear. Sometimes cracks also erupt. 

Tea is often absorbed in those fine lines and the vessel becomes tea stained too.  Can the darkness be removed?  Only temporarily.  One can bleach, buy a special solution or scrub, but in the end, it won't last.  

This is a beautiful teacup and saucer from 1952 by Rosina. However it has a crack that has become discolored.

How do we avoid crazing?  

  1. Hand wash your china. It may be a nuisance, but it is worth it.  If it is too hot for your hands, it is too hot for the bone china.
  2. Let the tea kettle sit for a minute or two after boiling, then pour it into the pot or cup.  We have heard that 170 degrees fahrenheit is optimum.  Some place a spoon in the cup before pouring to help absorb the heat, but we prefer to wait a moment instead.
  3. Do not store the pieces in an attic or garage which becomes hot in summer and cold in winter. 
  4. Do not wash a teacup that was just delivered.  Let it become room temperature and then use a mild dishwashing solution.

If you have questions that we might address in the future, please click on a listing and then click on the box that says, "Ask a Question." Your question will be sent to us.

We do not sell any china with crazing, chips or cracks.  You may buy with confidence from AprilsLuxuries.