Archway to my heart: Shelley’s timeless rose garden tea set

I wasn’t planning on writing another post about Shelley china but last weekend I stumbled upon a gorgeous tea set that I wanted to share with you.

A picture of vintage English Shelley china

The tea set is from a later period than the ones I featured in my last post.  As well as being beautiful the pattern is interesting because this tea set is a redesigned version of a set that Shelley first introduced in 1928.  My tea set is later because it has the back stamp that was used between 1938 and the mid-1960s.  The original tea set was called Archway of Roses and has what seems to me to be a typical Art Deco shape.  Shelley reintroduced the pattern at a later date with a different shape to the pieces, which I guess must have reflected the tastes of the time.

A picture of Vintage English china teacup, saucer and plate by Shelley - Archway of Roses

The softer shape of the slightly later tea set seems to complement the hand-finished garden scene.

The tea cups, creamer and sugar bowl have a softer, more rounded ‘Cambridge’ shape rather than the classically Art Deco shape of the earlier pieces.  The earlier cups are undoubtedly exquisite but I can’t help thinking that I prefer the way that the rounder cups match the whimsical pictorial design.  It’s interesting though that the beautiful cake plate has a more angular shape than the 1920s design – I particularly love the blue handles.

A picture of vintage English china cake plate by Shelley

The colours are still so vivid given that this plate is at least 50 years old

The combination of the transfer pattern with hand painting to finish is one of the styles I really like in vintage china. The hand-painting seems reminiscent of a bygone era, which fits well with the timeless flower garden scene.  If only my garden looked like this…actually come to think of it my garden did have an arch with some roses on it. Only mine was a rickety metal arch precariously hanging over the next door neighbour’s garden. The arch is no more and the rose has been cut back but it looks like it’s going to flower again soon, so maybe I’ll have some roses in my garden after all!

Rach x

A photo of a pink rose

One of the beautiful roses I used in a recent photoshoot!

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