I have seen a particular type of tea and coffee service a few times here and really like it. It has great mid century style and simplicity with clean almost industrial lines. The mix of metal and wood, the organic with the modern, even futuristic, gives it that great mid century modern style. I saw a set at a boot sale a few weeks ago and this set just today in a vintage furniture shop.
I looked at the markings on the bottom of the pieces and they are marked “Picquot Ware, Made in England”.
I did some research to find out more about the set. They were produced by Burrage and Boyde, a company that originally made vacuum cleaners in the 1930s. The company began making other products that allowed them to capitalize on the technology and machinery for metal casting, remember those old vacuums with the shiny metal fronts? looks similar to the metal casting on the tea sets, right?. Adding magnesium powder to the aluminum produced a polished silver look.
The first complete sets hit the market in 1949. The tray was originally only made to display the sets, but was so popular with customers, they began to mass produce them.
In 1951 the kettle was selected for the “British Can Make It” exhibition in London.
I found a great blog post from Cassiefairy on how to polish these sets which also had some additional information on them. The blogger then had a follow-up post that contained a copy of the original care instructions for the set that a blog follower provided her.
Pricing on these sets varies. The range I have seen here is 55-80 pounds ($72-$105) for 5 piece sets that are in good condition. You can find a good selection on Ebay and Etsy as well, sometimes for better prices.
With the current popularity of the mid century aesthetic, I hope these sets find a new appreciation and following.