Here's the second installment from the Teacup Fairy Chronicles. 

I thought you might be interested to hear about how we look after our teacups and how we go about cleaning, wrapping and storing our china so that it gets to you in the best possible condition.

 

What Happens when a Teacup Arrives with Us?

 

  • When teacups arrive with us we first of all place them into a holding area - it's important to us that we avoid anything being damaged before we've had chance to process it, and normally, things are not wrapped to our standards, so need to be stored carefully until we can process them properly.  

  • We assess the items - identifying them and often researching patterns, backstamps etc, so that we can pass the information on to you.

  • We check for any obvious damage, repairs, chips, cracks, hairlines etc

  • We reject probably half our inventory at this stage either as unfit due to condition or not suitable for our collection.

  • All pieces are washed. We wash everything in hot soapy water, leaving to soak for a few minutes to help lift off any ingrained dirt or grime. Often, pieces have been cherished by their previous owners, but it's common for items to come out of a display cabinet after 20 or 30 years with a liberal coating of spray polish (such as Mr Sheen), which goes sticky over time and causes the pieces to be dull or slightly grey. Once they've been thoroughly soaked, the pieces are cleaned gently by hand, we only use soft cloths, not abrasives and take time to wash thoroughly, inspecting and looking for imperfections as we go. More marks and imperfections are spotted at this stage than any other, and we make the most of this, further weeding out anything which is not totally suitable. 

a selection of new items waiting to be washed and photographed

 

  • We inspect again. Sometimes pieces look entirely different when they've had a little bath, so we like to look them over once more. There's often a lot of coo-ing at this point as we stand back and enjoy the pieces in all their glory.

  • We catalogue everything, noting any firing marks or other manufacturing marks so that we can tell you in our descriptions. 

  • The pieces are given a unique code number

  • It's time for a close up: we photograph all our pieces ourselves, and take multiple photos of each piece. We never use stock images so that you can be sure that the piece you see on our website is that will be delivered to you. Where we have a batch of the same design arrive, we'll photograph one example which accurately describes the condition of the collection. In general terms, we photograph everything in the same way so that you can get a true idea of colours and condition comparing to other items on our site. 

  • We pick the best photos for our website - this means that from the 5-10 shots we may take of each piece, we choose one which we like the most. This means that if you ever want to see a different angle or look at the backstamp, we can send you these photos. Aside from minor adjustments (cropping, aligning etc) we do not "photoshop" our photographs. They are as true a representation as we can give you. 

  • We wrap in acid free tissue paper (first of all), followed by bubble wrap and then void-fill the rest of the carton to ensure than nothing rattles during storage. 

  • We store in a cool, dry, pet and smoke free environment 

 

What Happens Post Purchase?

 

  • We check the items and inspect for final quality control. 

  • Items are re-wrapped and normally, the inner cartons are placed into a larger outer with cushioning between to provide double protection

  • We only ship using reputable couriers and ask for a signature service so that we can ensure as far as possible that  they reach you safely

  • We send the teacups on their way with our love and best wishes and hope you'll be thrilled! 

  • We are always available to discuss any problems or requirements you might have. We want you to be totally delighted with your purchase. 

 That's the process end-to-end. We hope you enjoyed our whistle-stop tour and have a better idea of what we get up to - it's not all drinking tea you know! 

If you've made it all the way to the end of this article, you deserve a reward so please enter the code LOYALTY in the coupon box and award youself 10% off any items. 

Until next time!