|This teacup & saucer may possibly be made of porcelain or bone china.|
Since 220 AD ceramic bowls have been used in China to drink tea. During the 1600’s tea drinking became popular in England when tea started to arrive via the East India Company. Originally it was drunk from pewter and silver bowls. Soon after porcelain and bone china (a mixture of bone ash, china stone & clay) was developed. A handle was added so people didn’t burn their fingers. The saucer was added later to rest the cup on in-between sips as well as to catch any drips from the tea. On occasions the saucer was used to pour the tea into so that the drink cooled quicker. This was either drunk out of the saucer, or poured back into the cup.
Queen Victoria made afternoon tea with dainty teacups popular in Europe and United Sates. Teacups and saucers were so popular that people started giving them as gifts.
There have been many manufacturers that have produced teacups over the years including these famous names: Aynsley, Coalport, Minton, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Albert, Royal Doulton, Spode and Wedgewood.
Some people these days prefer drinking from a mug rather than a teacup to get a longer lasting drink.