Red and Gold Tea Service

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.219 (DAA-0069)

Description:

This is a tea service consisting of 6 teacups, 6 saucers, and 6 small plates. Each item is decorated with a geometric gold and deep red pattern on a cream-coloured base.

Alternative Name: Tea Service

Primary Materials: China, Metal: Gold.

Markings:

Stamped on the base of each piece: “Ye Olde English
GROSVENOR CHINA
JACKSON & GOSLING LTD
ENGLAND
MADE IN ENGLAND”

Dimensions (cm):

Teacup: Height = 6.2, Width = 7.4, Length = 10; Saucer: Diameter = 13.8, Height = 2.2; Plate: Diameter = 15, Height = 2.2.

Function:

This tea service was presumably used in the David Dunlap Observatory “Founder’s Room”, when Mrs. Donalda Dunlap or others were entertaining visitors, guests or scientists to the Observatory. It appears to be the finer of the two services (2019.ast.217 is the other) and was likely used for smaller groups or special visitors.

Condition:

Excellent: The service is in excellent condition. Some of the plates have small scratches in the red paint. As there are two more plates than there are saucer and teacups, it’s possible that two of the teacups and saucers have been lost or were broken from the original set.

Manufacturer: Jackson & Gosling Ltd., England

Date of Manufacture: c. 1920s-1930s

Provenance:

It was likely this service was purchased or donated specifically for the Observatory.

This tea service was presumably used in the David Dunlap Observatory “Founder’s Room”, when Mrs. Donalda Dunlap or others were entertaining visitors, guests or scientists to the Observatory. Until 2009, when the Observatory was sold, the tea service was kept at the Observatory. Then, it was moved to storage at the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto’s St George campus. In 2017, the service was moved to a new location in the McLennan Physics building.