Dolly Varden in blue – Wileman, 1887

A Dolly Varden was a fashionable ladies’ outfit in the 1870s, with a brightly coloured flower-printed overskirt draped in a bellowing way on top of an underskirt. This tea set is called Dolly Varden and you can see why: the pattern looks like the bellowing flower printed skirts of that time. It is made in the Alexandra shape, Wileman’s most exotic and strange shapes, intensely fluted and square. These cups look a bit strange but they drink surprisingly well! And I don’t think I have ever seen a stronger lapis-blue colour… even though this cup has been around for 130 years.

I had only one set available and it was sold as soon as I put it up in the shop – but you can still see it here in my Antiques shop.

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