A Travelling Cup

This was my grandmother’s.  She carried it in her luggage from Jamaica to our home on Long Island.  There are three cups and two saucers.  They are well used. 

I can picture my grandmother in the cool of the morning sipping her tea on the verandah before the day starts and later, in the afternoon, stopping and sipping.  Perhaps with a friend? Two genteel ladies chatting and sharing.  This set looks like more of an everyday set.  However, once on Long Island, the cups were  never used but remained wrapped in tissue with other precious relics to be taken out and shown on rare occasions. They were all that was left.  I can imagine my grandmother looking at them and remembering the moments they shared.  The strong smell of the tea, the warmth of the steam; the talks, perhaps the shopping that went into obtaining them.  Did she have them sent from England and eagerly awaited their arrival?  Were they a present?  Or did she find them in a shop?  And carefully move them from place to place The colors evoke my grandmother – the delicate but warm coral flowers.

I imagine at one time there may have been a teapot, creamer and sugar bowl.  It all would have needed to be imported.  Tea and its accouterments move around the world. This type of tea set would have been symbolic of the reach of the British empire.  So, from Britain to Jamaica to Long Island.

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