Category:Aynsley Cup of Fortune 2018 Commemorative Edition

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From the Land of Tea, Installment #1

In this installment of "From the Land of Tea," we take a look at a web page that was funded by my Patreon supporters, who had access to it one full year before the public.

  • Patreon Release Date: August 21st, 2021
  • Public Release Date: August 21st, 2022.

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Colourful Divination Cups!

All of the material you have access to here -- the fabulous tea cups, the instructive booklets, the nostalgic postcards, the boldly graphic matchbook covers, and all of the historical information researched and shared from the mind of the woman who is making it all happen -- can easily fit into one 8 x 10 foot room in an old Victorian farmhouse, but you would never see it without the investment of the time it takes to produce such a site and the caloric input such a site requires in the form of food for the writer, graphic designer, and database manager, as well as the US currency needed to pay for the computers, software applications, scanners, electricity, and internet connectivity that bring it out of that little room and into the world. So, as you can see, this site is the darling of many, and it is growing at a rapid rate ... but although it is "free," there also is a cost. Your financial support underwrites this cost.

Each new web page or sample pdf is circulated to Patrons as an unpublished galley proof or advance copy. After one year access for Patrons, each web page will be released to the public, while book pages will be available to the public as printed books, and copies will be sent to Patrons who subscribe at the upper two tiers.

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Cup of Fortune Commemorative Tea Cups

The set of six Aynsley Cup of Fortune 2018 Commemorative Edition cups and saucers

In 1904, the British designer Neville Ross created the Nelros Cup of Fortune, which was produced for Ross by Aynsley China in England. The Nelros Cup of Fortune was a very early symbol cup as well as an astrology cup. It was also the first to contain poetry on the cup.

The rights to produce the Nelros Cup of Fortune were soon transferred to the Aynsley company, and the cup was manufactured for decades on a succession of pottery shapes. Eventually it was discontinued.

In 2018, Aynsley produced a new version of this cup and saucer, made in China for distribution in Japan. The Aynsley Cup of Fortune 2018 Commemorative Edition series was glazed in vivid solid colours, with gilded rims and edges, featuring an open cup shape with a spurred handle, reminiscent of the Paragon Signs and Omens cups of the 1930s.

Although this commemorative set is evocative of the original 1904 design, it is not a true copy of Neville Ross's pattern. The twelve signs of zodiac, which graced the original saucer, have been deleted, and the poetic verse that formerly circled the outside of the cup has been displaced to the saucer rim. The interior of the cup retains the tea leaf symbols and planetary glyphs of the original.

The colours in the series are:

This series of cups was manufactured for distribution exclusively in Japan, apparently as a way to keep the Cup of Fortune trademark active and up to date. They were produced in a limited run, and came in special boxes with instructions in Japanese.

catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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