Stop the Press. The Travelling Samovar tea house is having a tea auction! Have you ever heard of such a thing? They will be auctioning off beautiful hand-crafted and vintage tea-cups, tea-bowls, tea-pots, trays, an honest-to-goodness vintage samovar and a host of rare and unusual teas, all collected personally by the owners during their global tea-travels.
The reserve prices are ridiculously low so if you get lucky, you could pick them up for a major bargain, just in time for Christmas.
The event kicked off yesterday and will run as a silent auction until the evening of 15 December, when they'll announce the winners at a special event with tea-infused drinks. You can bid via phone or in person any time between now and then. You will probably see my name on a couple of items (I've got my eye on that samovar!).
I popped by yesterday to see what was on offer and snapped some photographs for you, but the pictures really don't do them justice so if you can get to Carlton North in the next week or so, I recommend you go in and take a look for yourself. I really can't show how feather-light and delicate was the antique Japanese stoneware tea-bowl I cupped in my hand - it didn't feel real. Or the wholly satisfying weight and texture of the ornate silver Moroccan tea pot, or the stunning beauty of four porcelain Chinese tea cups, each with a hand-painted figure inside that seemed, honestly, to glow.
* You can see each auction item here (if you can't make it into the shop to place your bids, they'll take them for you over the phone).
* If Travelling Samovar sounds familiar to you, you can read what I wrote about them when they first opened, and take a virtual tour, here.
And now for a gratuitous shot of the photographer's assistant wearing nectarine on his chin and a pink bowl on his head. Because, those chubby arms!
Have a wonderful weekend friends.