Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Teahouse Collection

Whenever I am lonely for my life in China, I visit my collection of antique Chinese tea tins, and Once again I am sitting in the old Green T House in Beijing.

This was my place of refuge from the big noisy city,

and where I learned the Language of Tea.

I spent hours there ~

Tasting exotic varieties of this popular ancient beverage,

Sampling tea-based cuisine, and Creating tea lifestyle events and products.

Inspired by my new passion, each weekend I trolled the flea market at Panjiayuan (The Dirt Market) in search of tea artifacts. The mystery of the once fragrant contents, and the beauty of the colorful images (from Chinese history and mythology) first attracted me to the tins.

From the splendor of the Imperial court ~ where the Emperor frolicked with his courtesans;

to the lush green of landscapes dotted with pagodas and tea gardens;

to the glamour of actresses from 1930s Shanghai cinema;

to the optimistic propaganda of the Cultural Revolution, ~ it's all there.

How prophetic, that after we returned Stateside, I found this table lamp...with a base fashioned from an old Chinese tea tin!

Still dreaming the tea life,


  1. These are wonderful. What a great collection! I love tea tins also.

  2. fascinating - thank you. You have an amazing collection. There is nothing like tea...

  3. Thanks for sharing this story of your 'tea' life. Your collection must fill you with happiness...and memories.

  4. I love that lamp! I adore tea, and decorate with empty tea tins (we own a coffee shop!). How lucky you are to have lived in China, so fascinating! Love your little world, happy to be your newest follower! XX!

  5. What a charming collection. So much creativity went into these vintage containers, and in the time before environmental concerns, they were being recycled in being reused. I'm going to have a cuppa....

  6. Gorgeous Marjorie
    I've always liked these images of Shanghai girls.. and your antique tin collection is fabulous!!!

    Thanks for your kind comment.. You know that image is a crop of my mum's portrait that also reminds me of that shanghai style .. with the flower in the hair... Have a lovely week xxx Julie

  7. Gorgeous tea tins!! xo

  8. Oh what a great collection! Would love to place some blooms in them :)