Imperfect treasures: finding beauty in damaged china

It’s always disappointing arriving home from a vintage shopping trip to find that a piece of china is damaged.  Although there are obvious areas of damage to look out for when buying china tea sets (some of which I hope to feature in a forthcoming blog post), it’s nevertheless easy to miss something.  This is particularly easy if the shop is not well lit or the stall is busy and it’s difficult to examine an item at length.

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However, the beauty of a piece of vintage china can still be admired even if damaged and in many cases damaged pieces can still be useful.

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We use a lot of damaged items as props in our photos.  This beautiful rosebuds teapot is a good example.  It’s a gorgeous pot but unfortunately has a crack on one side.  It’s possible that it could still be used as a teapot (if only half-filled) but it makes a lovely addition to a photo backdrop as the pattern complements a lot of the colours and patterns of many of the pieces we buy.

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Milk jugs and creamers can also be used if slightly damaged.  We like using this gold jug with the ballerina girl on it to display straws and flowers even though it has a small crack at the rim.  It could probably still be used for milk or cream if it wasn’t filled to the brim.

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We’ve also used damaged tea cups and saucers as mini-herb planters and bird feeders (again, to be seen in a future blog post!)

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It’s not just china that can be useful when damaged, we often use pieces of vintage linen that have slight stains or tears in our photos, or use the good parts of them to make other items such as tea cosies.  We were recently asked by a future Etsy shop owner if we would sell this embroidered placemat to her.  Although it has a small hole at one end, it’s going to be used as a photo backdrop so its pretty pattern can complement jewellery and hair accessories!

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What do you use damaged pieces of china for?  We’d love to see some interesting examples of alternative uses – feel free to share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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