Greene County, Arkansas
article by: Olive Bock
News item contributed by: William Dunavin
| Unexpected afternoon tea
guests wouldn't embarrass Mrs. Jessie Miles, 502 East Court, because
she has an abundance of cups and saucers in which to serve tea or
coffee.....159 of them.
However, she would be a little reluctant to use some of her priceless items to serve any beverage...they are for display purposes only.
Mrs. Miles' hobby started over 20 years ago, with a few sets, gifts from friends who brought back mementos of their trips. Her daughter, Mrs. Fleta Wafford, then a nurse in a veteran's hospital, told her patients of her mother's hobby. Soon Mrs. Miles was receiving cups and saucers from all over the world and the United States.
The oldest cup and saucer she owns is 150 years old. They have traveled many miles before being displayed in Mrs. Miles' cabinet. They were made in Switzerland then taken to Germany by their owner. The owner's daughter took them to England and then across to America and to California. Mrs. Wafford obtained them and sent them to her mother.
A pink glass teacup and saucer is approximately 100 years old, they cam from Alabama and have been passed down through several generations of the Miles' family. Cups and saucers in all shapes and sizes are in the collection, their patterns and colors are as varied as the places from which they came.
One cup has a long stem, similar to the shape of an egg cup, and the saucer is raised to fit the base of the cup. Another set has the "Bird of Paradise" flower decorating it in brilliant colors.
The favorite pattern of antique china is roses...and roses are really blooming in Mrs. Miles' cabinet. Cabbage roses, single roses, dainty pink roses and one dramatic design that has roses nestling in a black border around the cup, which stands on golden legs in its saucer.
Small children would delight in the diminutive cups and saucers collected from tea services. One little cup is designed like a flower in full bloom and has a fluted saucer to match.
Two friends from Paragould had hand painted cups and saucers especially made for the collection, and they have a place reserved for them in the cabinet. Other treasures Mrs. Miles has collected over years includes a rolling pin hewn out of ash with a penknife. This was made by her father when her mother first set up housekeeping. Another item is a silver jewelry box which belonged to her great grandmother. She has the first electric lamp ever to be used in Paragould. It was given to her by the late Mrs. Elizabeth Moore who bought it from a traveling salesman in 1902.
Though her keepsakes need dusting and care, Mrs. Miles enjoys looking at them often. Each one reminds her of a friend who has helped her along with a hobby that has given her many hours of pleasure.
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