2.125 in|.75 in HIGH x 4.375 in WIDE x 3.5 in DEEP
(5.40 cm|1.90 cm HIGH x 11.11 cm WIDE x 8.89 cm DEEP)
Gift of Mrs. Della Hardmon Guess, Della's Tea Cup Cafe

Royal Bayreuth, Bavaria

The cups and saucers in this collection come from Della's Tea Cup Cafe, 7309 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, which was established in February, 1967. The cafe is noted for, and decorated with, a very large collection of tea cups. Some of the cups were purchased by the owner, others were presented to her as gifts, while still others were made for her. A: cup is of porcelain, glazed on the interior in white and the exterior in bright orange. Green decorates the lip, the sides of the handle, which is an elongated ellipse with two triangular shapes on its upper side, and the four feet at the base. Above each foot, on the side of the cup, are three lines, the largest and uppermost similar to a "W" with its sides stretched outwards and the two smaller lines placed beneath these sides. The base of the cup has a blue manufacturer's mark for "Royal Bayreuth, Bavaria;" the mark is of a single lion holding a shield with the letter "T"; beneath the shield is the date "1794." B: saucer is also of porcelain, glazed in orange with green lines looping around the pierced holes that decorate the scalloped edge of the saucer. The holes are of irregular and varying shapes arranged alternately: a single hole is spaced between each group of ten holes; there are four single holes and four groups of ten. The base of the saucer has a blue manufacturer's mark for "Royal Bayreuth, Bavaria;" like that on the cup but smaller. There is also an adhesive label marked "79X." About this cup and saucer, the donor remarked: "This is Bayreuth. What I Like about it is the color. It's hard to get a color like this and the detail is unusual and it's very creative... My mom when I was a little girl growing up, she was very artistic... [For making holes like these] we'd use ice picks... but she used something that grew out of the forest, a thorn bush, and it had sharp little points. She'd make holes and she'd take a needle and crochet around. No she wouldn't [remembering more clearly], she'd take a needle and do a stitch [like eyelet embroidery]. Years ago they had flour bags and they'd have a print on them. My mom could take that bag, empty the flour. She'd wash it and she could just look at a catalogue, like Sears and Roebuck, and she could make anything out of it." Although Mrs. Hardmon Guess admits she doesn't have her mother's talent for sewing, she says, "I bake tea cakes [instead]. I love baking; oh, they always tease me. We had a blind aunt that lived with us and she always kept this cookbook in her trunk. I was eight [years old]. One day, they all was gone and they left me home; I don't know why, but I don't care why... for some reason, I went and got that old book. It was so old, until you turn the pages [because the pages were] yellowed at the corner. My sisters got home and said 'You stole poor aunt's cookbook!' And they wanted to borrow it and I said 'No! If you want a recipe out of here, you're going to have to sit here and copy it down.' And I still have that cookbook... it's a family treasure." "Well. when I opened this cafe I had the idea to cook unusual meals from that cookbook... ramekins, oyster pies. Someone said, what's ramekins, Della? [Della answered:] Ramekins are very fine pastry and you just take and put cheese all on them. Roll it out like dough, and you put cheese all on it and you fold them over and you make like a triangle, just like apple turnovers. Then you bake it. That' what ramekins are. It's not cheesecake of course, [but rather] something cheesy like bread and cheese... Oh, you know those little square things... Cheesits, that's what it tastes like. Reminds me pretty much of Cheesits. I wanted to be different. I wanted to cook different. I wanted to act different. I wanted to look different."

Used: Della's Tea Cup Cafe | Della Hardmon Guess | African American | Drinking | Lynn Neighborhood

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