Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Like a Bull in a China Shop

Yup!  That's exactly how I have felt this week.  You see, I am not the most graceful or careful person on the earth.  Truth be told, I am a klutz.

This week I have been putting my butter fingers to the test by cleaning my grandmother's china.  I am getting it all ready for a Mother's Day Tea that my sisters and I are hosting. Basically, I've been sweating and praying all week that I would not break any of the precious pieces.  It's not even like I could replace a single piece of this china if I blunder, because it is from Okinawa, and it was made years ago.  My grandparents bought all of it when the were stationed on the island in the 1960's. It's not replaceable, no pressure or anything.

While I was drying out the tea cups from one of the two sets of china we will be using, I noticed something very curious.  The inside bottom of the tea cup had a little raised area.  At first, I thought that it was a blemish in the china, but upon further inspection I noticed that it was definitely meant to be there.  I held the cup up to the light, and this is what I saw...

Do you see what I see saw?  I did some research and found out that this is a Japanese lithophane.  A lithophane is a panel made out of porcelain that is placed in the bottom of the tea cup.  The porcelain panel has an image impressed into it.  When you hold the cup up to light, you can see a pretty detailed image of the head of a geisha girl.  Pretty nifty, right?

Now I will have even more of a reason to be careful with this china.  Oh, help me, Rhonda! 

How about you friends? Does anyone else have some cool Japanese lithophane china or any other precious family heirloom in your house that you are afraid of breaking? I'd love to hear about it. 

Oh, I have coined the term Antiqueaphobia to describe my fear of breaking old stuff.  Feel free to utilize this word liberally. 



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