Display for antique tea cups?
ashlibrooke43
September 11, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I have two sets of German tea cups from the 1930's that have been passed down to me. The set is a tea cup and two plates. I would like to display these in my home without risk of them being harmed. I would prefer not to leave them in a box, collecting dust. Any ideas>?
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nasmijati
I saw a kitchen with a specially built narrow shelf about eight inches below the ceiling. It ran along three walls of a breakfast nook. Mugs/beakers from the homeowner's travels were displayed there. They were very easy to view when standing in the kitchen.

Do you have a cabinet door somewhere in your home that could be changed to glass? An LED light could be installed in the section where the tea sets would be displayed. You would not necessarily have to change the entire cabinet front to glass. Could just do glass in front of the display area.

What about a custom glass or acrylic display (box?) on a fireplace mantel? Use museum putty/wax under the objects to keep them from sliding if the display case gets bumped. Fasten the display case to the mantel.

Do you have a spot in your home where you could build a niche into the wall? Light it and use museum putty to keep the dishes from wiggling.

Do you want guests to your home to view the tea sets, or would you prefer them to be a private pleasure? That will help you decide on a room location for the tea sets.
September 11, 2012 at 6:41PM   
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charleee
If you could find a small cabinet, perhaps an old medicine cabinet, you could mount it to the wall and just leave the doors open as part of its charm. You can also use a small piece of molding attached to the sides to keep the cups an plates from sliding out.
September 11, 2012 at 6:46PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Goodness, tipi, what great ideas! My favorite is the shelf just below ceiling. But it could be placed lower, just out of harm's way (I'm thinking of 5 year olds). Here's a picture of another place to put your beautiful collection:
September 11, 2012 at 6:48PM   
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ashlibrooke43
Thanks for the great tips. I'm thinking about the display box idea within a small cabinet (possibly custom built.) unfortunately, no place to put a display like the photo, no mantel, no way to build a shelf up on the wall with the way our great room is built/cabinets in the kitchen have been installed. Also not able to display within existing cabinet. Wanting to display for all to see, too great not to share.
Thanks so much for all the advice so far!! Especially the museum wax/puddy, What is it exactly, and where can i find it? Mentioned that to my husband and he was afraid any puddy would ruin them and he's highly attached to them.
September 11, 2012 at 7:17PM     
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nasmijati
Museum wax/putty is used in the best museums in the world. It will not hurt anything. Call your local museum for an appointment for a first-hand look at how it is used. The museum will also know where to purchase it. If the British Museum uses it for sixteenth century pieces, I trust them!
September 11, 2012 at 7:28PM     
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ashlibrooke43
Thanks so much, but I'm not sure we have a museum close to us. Would lowes sell it, or maybe something I can purchase offline?
September 11, 2012 at 8:05PM   
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
Isn't the shelf tipi suggested called a plate shelf? I think it's a trim piece that is actually intended to display plates.
September 11, 2012 at 8:40PM   
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nasmijati
Lanie, no, the shelf for the mugs was custom built for them. That house had custom displays for all of the homeowner's collections.

Ashlibrook43, I will investigate where one can purchase Museum Wax, and let you know.
September 12, 2012 at 5:59AM     
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ashlibrooke43
Thank you tipi!
September 12, 2012 at 6:48AM   
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
Okay, thanks; I'm learning.
September 12, 2012 at 6:50AM   
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feeny
Here's a link for purchasing museum gel, which I believe is the same (or very similar) as museum wax: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/collections/display/cubesCases?productId=10007846
I bookmarked this awhile ago, but haven't had a chance to order or use it yet.
September 12, 2012 at 6:56AM   
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nasmijati
Ashlibrooke43, Feeny's link is what I was talking about.

Thanks, Feeny, you're fast!

Lanie, I always try to learn something new each day. Keeps my "little gray cells" in good shape.
September 12, 2012 at 7:12AM   
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Lanie Brown, REALTOR®, Martha Turner Sotheby's
That's the fun of houzz! Lets my creative wheels churn, and I learn new stuff.
September 12, 2012 at 7:15AM   
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