These teacup and plate sets can be found throughout our centre but many don’t know the origins of their use and unique shape. With an elongated plate and teacup holder circle down one end, many have suggested that these sets were used for picnicking or just to avoid using three pieces of crockery: cup, saucer and plate.
The truth is that tennis sets came originated from their very name – tennis. Ladies would play with their friends and stop for morning tea and afternoon tea with a small sandwich or cake to keep up their energy to keep playing.
The elongated plate was perfect for holding both teacup and food with one hand while the other drank from the cup and picked up the delicious home baked snacks. Because these games were usually played in halls or at grounds with no seating, it was vital that the crockery allowed the user to eat and drink without sitting or placing their plate on a table.
Over time there have been many incarnations of the tennis set from Royal Doulton to Melamine and Bakelite pieces in more recent times.
While these pieces were invented for the tennis, they also find themselves very useful at picnics, parties and other places where it can be hard to find a seat.
Next time you’re in, ask to see our range of tennis sets and take one home with you to use when you are bereft of a seat!