Rita's Vintage Fortune Teller's Tea Cup - Have a Spot of Tea and See Your Future
Rita's vintage fortune telling tea cups are a rare find. Each cup has it's own energy and it's own origin of history. These tea cups are vintage so they have been used throughout their journey in this life, some may have tea stains from their past lives but all of them are in great condition and very, very beautiful. Perfect for the tea leaf reader or fortune teller, or for the witch who luvs tea and would like to sip theirs from a magical cup.
This cup was made around the turn of the century (19th-20th) in Austria, highly collectible white porcelain cups are relatively rare; the occasional ones seen for sale usually bear the mark of the importer Petersyn Company of Passaic. The P. H. Leonard firm was started in 1880, and went bankrupt in 1898. The same mark was then used successively into the early 20th century by Bawo & Dotter, Charles L. Dwenger, and Charles A. Straub & Company for the Thun wares (information from www.collectorscircle.com website). It is unknown how or when the Petersyn Company acquired rights to the design.
The cup’s exterior is decorated with a band of 16 transfer-printed black flying-witch-on-a-broomstick symbols, a black painted rim, painted black band around the base, and painted black line on the handle. On the bottom of the cup base is a witch symbol and the word “PATENTED”. The inside surface is adorned with 23 different symbols designed to facilitate telling fortunes by “reading” the tea leaves, a traditional method also known as tasseography or tasseomancy. The symbols consist of the following: heart, arrow, four-leaf clover, gold band (ring), gold crown, shoe, ship, stamped envelope, bleeding heart, snake, gold ring with gem, cherry, sun over water, skull and crossbones, wreath, open book, glass of wine, pair of hearts with arrow through them, sword, bag of gold coins, blue flower, bottle, and horseshoe. They are black transfer-print with added hand-painted color highlights. The saucer’s decoration consists of a circular band of 18 of the same black transfer-print flying witches, a painted black rim, and a painted black line around the central depression for the cup base. Marks on the saucer are described above. The cup measures 3-7/16 inches (8.7 cm) in diameter by 2-3/8 inches (13.6 cm) high. The saucer measures 5-3/8 inches (13.6 cm) in diameter by 13/16 inch (2 cm) high. In terms of condition, there is a faint hairline crack.
The art of tea reading or tasseography dates back to medieval times and evolved to fortune readings over time. Imagination, insight and symbolism are the three keys to be able to read your tea leaves.
"The Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Fifth Edition, Vol. 2 edited by J. Gordon Melton, notes:
After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around the shapes suggested by them. They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism, such as: snake (enmity or falsehood), spade (good fortune through industry), mountain (journey of hindrance), or house (change, success)."
I am not a tea cup collector nor do I claim to hold all the knowledge of each antique piece, so I have done my best to describe them with what I have learned about them.