A Victorian afternoon tea was one of the most delightful and informal affairs for the 19th century lady of leisure. Moreover, a favorite craft or pastime was china painting. Here we provide illustrations and instructions to create your own authentic tea and dessert set so you can invite your friends to a truly Victorian tea party. These instructions and original designs are from an 1899 ladies’ magazine.
Hummingbirds and Flowers
This design requires no background. The backs of the hummingbirds are of a bluish-green, for this chrome green and deep blue green are used. Heads are much bluer and lighter in color. Throats of the birds are a light golden green, use for these orange yellow and apple green. Wings are of a brownish color made with yellow brown, ultramarine blue, and brown. Tails and beak are black. The feathers at the ends of the tails, paint with blue.
Use for the flowers a light wash of carmine (deep red), and shade with carmine and apple green. Stamens are yellow, shaded with yellow, brown, and deep red brown. Leaves are delicate green. Use apple green, and mix with yellow and brown. Make some of the leaves quite brown. The grasses are made with carmine and apple green; make some with violet. The handle of the cup can be made gold or a color can be used if preferred.