Manufacturer: Doll House Dishes
Nifty antique toy collectible, a child's miniature dollhouse (doll house) tea set (teaset) consisting of 10 pieces and one lid: a large base tray, a teapot (with no lid), a creamer, a two handled sugar (with a lid), three cups all without handles, and 3 plates or saucers for the cups. All pieces are pottery or ceramic (not china or porcelain). From the coloring and glazing on the undersides these could be old majolica pieces as opposed to being just pottery, but we don't know that for certain. The coloring is a mottled green and tan (which also reminds us of some majolica pieces we've seen). The tray has a raised design in the border area molded into the ceramic or earthenware, with leaves, circles and lines.
There is no manufacturer marking of any kind on any of the pieces. These pieces all look handmade to us. The pieces appear slightly misshapen or not quite round or not level top edges (on the plates and cups), with the underside of the tray rim on which the piece sits looking particularly handmade/misshapen or not as one would find when manufactured via a machine. The center portion of the tray is also not level, curving slightly and higher in some spots than elsewhere. There are some bits of extra pottery adhered to the pieces, and the handles on the bigger pieces look hand applied as does the spout on the teapot which is solid and comes to a point at the top end (it is not an "open" spout through which liquid could flow as a real teapot would have and as seen on even manufactured miniature teapots). And there are many rough edges and these pieces are roughly made in spots, including some chips which appear to have been made "in manufacture" since they are "glazed over"...all adding to the believeability of being a handmade collectible.
The tray is oblong, measuring about 5 3/4 x 3 5/16 inches and sitting about 1/2 inch in height (to the top of the outer rim which is higher than the central part of the tray). All the other pieces can sit on the tray. The tallest of these is the creamer measuring about 1 1/2 inches in height, with the sugar and teapot just slightly smaller in height and the tea cups about 1/2 inch in height. The plates or saucers have no "inner circle" for centering the cups on the saucers (which is why we think they might be plates) and measure about 1 1/8 inches in diameter. When the creamer is sitting on the tray, the greatest "height" to this set is about 1 3/4 inches. We've provided 8 images to show pieces on the tray and off, topsides and bottom sides, and a grouping with a quarter for size comparison. Please note that the white "hot spots" are reflections from the camera lighting on the glossy glazed surfaces.
This definitely appears to us to be an old, antique or vintage children's toy, although we don't know the age for certain, but are guessing it is not new from the style. It came out of an elderly person's home. Because we believe this is an older collectible and we don't know the composition of the paint or glazing used, it is possible that there was lead used in the paint or glaze. Due to the concerns with lead, this collectible should only be purchased by an adult collector and not given to children to play with.
Terrific look and these pieces have aged well overall, but they are not mint and have minor flaws. We are guessing that the tea pot once had a lid, too, but we don't have that. You can see in the images that the lid for the sugar likely once had a top handle but that is gone, leaving a chipped, unglazed center circle area on the lid. There are minor tiny chips on edges of several pieces, including a chip on the top side rim of the creamer and another along the lower base edge of this piece (both of which look "glazed over"), three chips on the underside base of the sugar (one of which is "glazed over"), "glazed over" chips around the bottom edges of the cups, and unglazed tiny chips on the edges of 2 plates and the underside bases of all the plates. There is a very fine line crazing in the glazing on the plates, in the raised top border edge design of the tray, along the cinched in base of the sugar, and perhaps on some of the other pieces (this is hard to see). The tray has a rough outer edge all around although this is "glazed over" or appears as made, there is a tiny hairline in the top border edge in one spot (but this, too, looks like it may have glazing in it, we can't tell for sure), light brown spots on the topside which may be use staining (there are also a few of these spots on the sugar, teapot and 2 plates), some use/age wear in the top raised border area, a few white spots and some "glazed over" chips on the underside. Nothing overly bad nor unexpected, and all adding to the believeability of age and the hand made nature of these pieces.
A neat addition to any collection of miniatures and particularly miniature tea sets, or for use in a displayed doll house or doll collection. Could also be a nice item to add to a collection of majolica or pottery or hand made pottery in particular.