Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Mug Shots [2]

Last year during lockdown, Liz became extremely good at keeping houseplants. Her jade plant grew amazingly and she took lots of cuttings and gave them to family and friends. I stood mine inside one of my coronation mugs.

I got rid of much of my commemorative china before we moved- it was almost all cheap CS stuff - but I thought if this George VI mug had a use [as a plant pot] it could stay. May 1937 - this mug is over 84 years old. 

Liz saw the mug and admired it - and said it was a great way to display the jade plant. I decided that as her birthday was coming up, I'd keep an eye out for a commemorative mug for her. 

So when I saw two coronation mugs in a bin at the junkyard, both very grubby [but unchipped] I asked how much the owner wanted. "A quid for the pair". So I brought them back here and washed them thoroughly. The Elizabeth II mug from June 1953 has gone [with a cactus inside it] to Liz.

The second mug is still waiting for contents. But it is rather special - look at this

This is an Edward VIII Coronation Mug, dated May 1937. But Edward VIII was not crowned- because he'd abdicated on December 10th 1936! I found out that some commemorative china had been produced, and sold - but production stopped abruptly, and the china factories rushed to make new mugs for King George and Queen Elizabeth [who later became 'the Queen Mother'when her husband died, and her daughter Elizabeth II took the throne] 

Eric Knowles, of the Antiques Roadshow, says there are lots of these E-VIII-R pieces around, so they aren't worth more than a few quid. But I think it is interesting nonetheless, and I shall find a little plant to go in it. It cannot go into regular use for drinks as it is not dishwasher safe. But it has survived 80+ years, I'll keep it a little longer.

We still have too many coffee mugs in the cupboard. I've put a few aside for the next Village Yard Sale.

There's something rather sad about the mug. Was it brought for a child, who was all excited about Edward's coronation - only to have everything turn sour? Did they get a GeorgeVI one a few months later, as well? Or did it belong to an adult, who put it on display in the China Cabinet [everybody's auntie had one of them!] or was it wrapped in tissue paper and hidden in a drawer? My father remembered Christmas 1936, he was 12 years old. He said the carol singers were chanting "Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Mrs Simpson's pinched our King"

I guess it was inevitable therefore that people would make comparisons when Prince Harry married his American divorcée bride. The course of true love never did run smooth for the royals - and it must be a headache for the manufacturers of commemorative goods!

If  I get anything for the Queen's Jubilee next year, it will be a tree - now that is a good commemorative item, IMHO


  1. Some lovely mugs there and having the Edward VIII one is brilliant. I like to things of old things being re-used for various purposes, and what a nice talking point it makes rather than just another bog standard pot from the shop.

  2. Those mugs look great with the plants, what a good idea! I passed my commemorative china to our daughter-in-law, who, although Canadian born, is a Royalist through and through.

  3. Quite a history lesson in those commemorative mugs! You found a good use for them, too. :)


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