A Victorian Teatime Tablesetting

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Table set with Victorian teaset ready for teatime
Victorian Afternoon Tea Tablesetting

My dining room table is set with a beautiful Victorian teatime tablesetting with a teaset from Moritz Zdekauer. It bears the mark “MZ Austria” with the eagle symbol.  I am unsure of the name of the pattern. It bears resemblance to the Bridal Wreath pattern, also produced by MZ Austria, but this set does not have the floral swags consistent with photos I have seen of the Bridal Wreath pattern. If anyone can conclusively identify the pattern, please do let me know.

In the meantime, this is a lovely delicate and romantic teaset from which to enjoy an afternoon tea or a light supper.  I have used this set in the past for afternoon teas including this Valentine Tea.

There are no dinner plates in the set. Rather, the smaller plates which we know as “supper plates” or “tea plates” or, more commonly today, salad or dessert plates, are the largest plates in the set. These would be used for scones or small sandwiches or, in the case of supper, perhaps some cold cuts, biscuits, and condiments.

Top-down view of MZ Austria supper plate with pink roses around edge
MZ Austria Supper Plate

The plates are scallop edged with gold filigree trim on the edges. A border of tiny pink flowers amidst pale green leaves adorns each plate that also has a small rose spray in the plate center.

The small fruit nappies would typically be used for serving fresh seasonal berries with cream, a fruit compote, or, perhaps, preserves or canned fruit such as pears, peaches, or plums.

Top-down view of fruit nappy from MZ Austria teaset
MZ Austria Fruit Nappy

The set has a large serving bowl which seems almost disproportionately large to the other pieces in the set. It could be used for a salad, such as potato salad, or it could be used for a fruit compote.

Large white serving bowl with a border of pink roses and pale greenery from a MZ Austria set of dishes
MZ Austria Serving Bowl

Two serving plates accompany the set. One would most likely have been used for serving sandwiches for an afternoon tea and the other for teatime squares, cake, and/or cookies. Alternatively, the plates could have been used for serving cold meats for a supper.

Top-down view of white serving plate with a border of tiny pink roses
MZ Austria Serving Plate

The cream and sugar set is also quite large and is in keeping with the Victorian style.

MZ Austria White and Pink Suga Bowl
Victorian-style Sugar Bowl and Creamer

The set has a lot of detailing and design elements and a significant amount of delicate gold trim.

White creamer with tiny pink roses amidst pale green leaves
MZ Austria Creamer

The set also includes a salt and pepper duo and, because this is an antique set, some of the gold trim on the shaker tops has worn off.

Antique salt and pepper set with tiny pink flowers on a white background
MZ Austria Salt and Pepper Set

This set has no matching teapot so I have opted to use a Sadler teapot with pink roses.

Pretty ivory Sadler teapot with pink roses
Sadler Pink Roses Teapot

The teacup shape is very plain and simple. The short, stout, shape of the footed cup resembles Royal Albert’s Hampton shaped cups.

White cup and saucer with pink flowers and gold trim
MZ Austria Cup and Saucer

Each cup has an intricate floral pattern of tiny soft pink roses and green leaves around the cup and each has a tiny pink rose motif on the rear interior. The cups have ornate gilt filigree banding around the exterior rim and the simple loop handles on the cups also bear gold gilt trim that is carried to the saucer edges.

I have chosen to pair my Victorian style glasswear with this set. Again, larger pieces in keeping with the period of the teaset.

Victorian glassware
Victorian Glassware

The table linen I have chosen is a white antique Irish linen cloth. White keeps the overall look simplistic and soft and really makes the tiny pink roses on the dishes pop.

The napkin fold is a simplistic triangular fold and is placed between the supper plate and fruit nappy. This is an easy fold to do and is ideal when the napkin has a motif or monogram to be featured. Placing the napkin between the two plates is also beneficial if the table is either quite small or crowded with placesettings and serving pieces as the napkin is one less thing to find a space for on the table.

Placesetting with antique dishes with a pink and white design
Victorian Teaset

I have chosen a low profile floral centerpiece for the tea table in colors complementary to the dishes. The soft, subdued colors do not detract from, or compete with, the teaset. Keeping the centerpiece low makes it easy for guests to see and converse with each other.

Pink, white, and green, floral centerpiece for the tea table
Floral Centerpiece for Tea Table

Now, what would you serve on these dishes and what tea would you pair with the meal?

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A table set with pink and white Victorian teaset

 

 

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