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A Nelros non-divination tea cup and saucer set, sometimes called a "sandwich" set, "at home" set, or "tennis" set
1904 Nelros advertisement for the "At Home" range
A later Nelros Cup of Fortune with the Aynsley backstamp
A page from the 1904 instruction booklet for the Nelros Cup of Fortune
1904 Nelros advertisement for the Good Luck range, indicating that the pottery manufacturer is Aynsley

Nelros was a china designer and marketer specializing in novelty ware in the era between 1900 and 1920. The name Nelros derives from the designer's name, Neville Ross. The Nelros insignia is a stylized NR monogram that bears a passing resemblance to the "Eye of Horus" design found on ancient Egyptian amulets. All Nelros products, whether backstamped as such or not, were manufactured by Aynsley, and after Nelros ceased business, some of the Nelros products continued to be manufactured and sold as Aynsley ware, with their transfer designs applied to regular Aynsley shapes.

Nelros was a pioneer in the field of marked cups. While not the earliest (John Hanley, in America, beat Nelros by six years), the Nelros Cup of Fortune was the first symbol cup plus astrology cup and the first to contain poetry on the cup.

In addition to two lines of divinatory and magical cups -- the Good Luck and the Cup of Fortune -- Nelros also marketed a series of delicate cup and saucer combinations in which the saucer was extended to hold a tea cake or small sandwich. These sets, officially called "At Home" sets, but also colloquially referred to as "tennis," or "sandwich" sets, were usually decorated with floral patterns. One is shown here, despite the fact that it is not a tasseomancy set.


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

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