Thursday, 3 May 2012

Tea for Two

I am extremely fond of vintage children's china. I don't know why all china isn't decorated with bunnies and bears and nursey rhyme characters. I'm sure the world would be a jollier place if it was.  Here are a couple of pieces from my large collection. I think they were parts of the same set. The little cup portrays Mummy Bear washing Baby Bear with an elephant looking on. The words read 'You dirty boy'. On the saucer, a golly is riding in a cart pulled by a pig. All very ordinary, you may say.

And I would agree. It's the scene on the teapot that really intrigues me.
The caption says 'Sweethearts', and there are two bunnies arm-in-arm under an umbrella. How sweet, indeed. But how remarkable for a child's teaset from the 1930s, that these are two boy bunnies. I don't think there's any doubt, is there? Unless the one on the right is a cross-dressing girl bunny? I keep wondering whether some avant-garde children's illustrator was striking a blow for gay rights. Or was the caption put on by mistake? Whatever the story behind it, it's a charming little teapot.

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