1398 – Cup & Saucer

Physical description:
Very pretty fortune-telling cup and saucer - saucer and outside of cup pale pink with gold edging; inside cup, symbolic pictures in pink, and the words 'Many curious things I see when telling fortunes in your tea' in blue.
Museum classification:
60 x 120 x 100 (cup) 20 x 140 diam (saucer)

Made by Paragon in the 1930s or 40s.

Although cups like this were designed to help people to read tea leaves, there was also a belief that it involved having a gift for seeing what the tea leaves signified. A visitor to the museum told us that her great-grandmother, who was in service, was taught tea leaf reading by one of her fellow servants (perhaps the cook). However, when she in turn tried to teach it to her family, none of them were able to 'see' the meaning of the tea leaves.

Bone china