New themed photo album "Autumn Tea Party"

A cup of hot, strong tea on a rainy autumn day is the best way to cheer up and warm oneself. It is true that in this age of high speed and constant hurry, a tea ceremony often consists of nothing more than a disposable bag and a ceramic mug. But there were times when the preparation of the tea table was done leisurely, and its serving was made according to rules and fashion. Unique and multifarious items for tea ceremony - teapots, sugar bowls, cup holders, cups -- works of the best masters of the 19th - early 20th centuries, are in our themed photo album "Autumn Tea Party".

In the Moscow state tea was first introduced in 1638. It quickly came into use, first at the tsar's court, then among the boyars and, finally, among wealthy townspeople. In 1679, the first treaty with China on regular tea supplies was concluded. By the end of the 17th century, tea was already being sold in Moscow shops along with other common goods. However, tea, with few exceptions, was considered a luxury item among ordinary people. It was only in the second half of the 18th century that the tradition of drinking tea began to spread among the people – initially tea was served at post houses and in hostels.

According to the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary, a noticeable growth of tea import to Russia began at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the essay "Tea in Moscow" by I. Kokorev, published in the magazine "Moskvityanin" in 1848 we read: "Now the whole of Russia, everyone from small children to adults, a millionaire and an odd-jobber, those who live in the north and southerners, the Belarusians and the Kalmyks, drink tea; some of them drink ordinary tea, some drink tile tea with salt, butter and milk, some -- flavorous, some -- flavoured, some drink even outlandish pearl tea...".

In the middle of the 19th century, tea gradually began to be used by ordinary working people: first they were factory workers, yamschiks (stagecoach drivers), horse-cab drivers, tradesmen and servants, then peasants of average wealth in areas not very distant from large cities started drinking tea.
In 1901 Russia ranked 2nd among tea consumers in the world (22% of the world consumer market).

On the cover: Cup. Imperial Porcelain Factory, Russian Empire, St. Petersburg. Late 19th - early 20th century

Catalogue. Sergey Kruglov "Glass holders: Soviet, Russian, foreign", 2012