Luxury Dining in 1:6 Scale

Before it leaves my possession forever, I thought I’d share photos of the most amazing little tea set I’ve ever come across in my 10+ years of collecting mini vintage tea sets for use with my dolls.

Today’s Mini Tea Sets

Run-of-the-mill, “Made in China” mini tea sets typically suck. If you somehow manage to find one in correct 1:4 scale, chances are that it is a clunky-looking thing that has saucers that are much too chunky and thick-lipped cups with handles that are so fat, the characteristic loop or hole of a teacup handle is practically non-existent. The design on such a tea set is usually really unsophisticated and lame and applied via cheap-o decals in lieu of hand-painting. It’s basically a child’s play thing. Or, if it does aspire to be a “collectible,” then it’s more of a whimsical interpretation of a tea set and made out of resin: “How cute! It’s a tiny head of cabbage made to look like a tea pot!” I suppose in certain applications this sort of more “whimsical” or “folky” tea set would work, but for everyday use, I wanted my dolls to have a real tea set. After all who ever uses a tea pot that looks like a cabbage in real life?

OJ Tea Sets: A Cut (Far) Above

Exquisite Occupied Japan Tea SetThe best tea sets for 1:4 scaled dolls that I’ve come across have been made in “Occupied Japan”, aka “OJ.” They are fine and delicate and as close to being a truly scaled-down version of the real thing as possible. The saucers are thin and light, and not only do tea cup handles have holes in them but they are incredibly skinny and even have an ornate detail or shape to them! Designs are hand-painted and sometimes extremely detailed, sometimes including gold accents or even moriage in some of the much finer pieces. As an added bonus sometimes the spout of OJ tea pots have actual holes in them!

An Extremely Rare Find

Luxury Tea Set for Enchanted DollsI’ll have to share my most prized 1:4 OJ tea sets in a future post. Today, I wanted to talk about a particular tea set I found on eBay eons ago and had “fought” very hard to win thinking that it might be a good fit for 1:4 scale dolls. After all, some of the serving pieces in the set looked very similar to the pieces (namely the sugar bowls and creamers) from other OJ tea sets I had already acquired and found were the perfect scale for 1:4 dolls. Miniature OJ Bowls and Plates!Unfortunately when I received the set, I found that it was not the perfect scale for 1:4 dolls. Instead, it is even more special–it is an even rarer 1:6 scale, something I had never encountered before, nor since. Furthermore this set contains pieces I have never seen before in a mini tea set like bowls and dining plates and in an equally unprecedented quantity: this set serves 12!

Back on the Block

Mini OJ Tea Set Soup TureenI have held on to this set as long as I can and now, in anticipation of a great move (hopefully) in my near future, I have to let it go! I have put it back up for auction on eBay once again. I put a reserve on it so that I can recoup some of what I spent on it (and my husband doesn’t kill me!) Here is a copy of the description and photos:

I have been collecting miniature vintage tea sets for over a decade now and have never seen another tea set of this exquisite quality have such a large variety and quantity of pieces and most definitely not in this scale! In fact, this set is not dollhouse scale nor the 1:4 scale that OJ tea sets of this quality usually are. It is actually a rarely-seen 1:6 doll scale. It is perfect for 1:6 dolls like Barbie or Fashion Royalty and would be an absolutely exquisite, and very appropriate, addition to an extravagant Enchanted Doll collection! 91-Piece Mini OJ Tea SetIf your dolls have discriminating taste and require luxurious China with which to entertain their equally discerning dinner party guests, you can finally stop looking and say goodbye to those pink plastic stand-ins! This set is the REAL DEAL! Although the box that comes with it indicates that it is a “tea set,” it is really more like a fine dining set because although it may include tea cups and saucers, it does NOT include a tea pot! In addition it includes not only PLATES AND BOWLS, which are extremely rare to find in a tea set this size, but THREE different sized plates: salad, dinner and dessert, as well as TWO different sized BOWLS! One would be hard-pressed to even FIND miniature plates in a size other than dollhouse scale, but you can FORGET about finding BOWLS! Luxury OJ Tea Set for 1:6 DollsAll pieces are of a quality that suggests this set is more a collector’s item rather than a child’s toy. They are thin and delicate and have been meticulously hand-painted with an ornate pink rose motif and edged with (real?) gold. Moreover there are 12 place settings in all plus serving dishes providing copious amounts of dishes to display in BOTH that outstanding fashion doll kitchen diorama AND equally fabulous dining room’s hutch! Each piece is unique and may have imperfections characteristic of handmade items, but upon inspecting them, I did not find any chips, Mini Vintage OJ Tea Set for 1:6 Dollscracks or damages on any piece! The fact that such a fragile set managed to survive all these years in such good condition is amazing! The only truly noteworthy problems with this set is that unfortunately there are 2 dessert plates missing and the pieces are a bit dusty so could use a good wash (I leave this delicate task up to the next owner) but neither issue detracts from the absolute beauty and splendor of the ensemble! The set includes:

  • 10 dessert or bread/butter plates, 1.04″ (26mm) in diameter
  • 12 salad plates, 1.23″ (31mm) in diameter
  • 12 dinner plates, 1.49″ (38mm) in diameter
  • 12 saucers, .97″ (24mm) in diameter
  • 12 tea cups, .41″ (10mm) H x .81″ (20mm) W
  • 12 small bowls, 1.02″ (25mm) dia x .34″ (8mm) H
  • 12 large bowls, 1.18″ (29mm) dia x .31″ (7mm) H
  • 1 large serving platter
  • 1 medium serving platter
  • 1 serving dish
  • 1 gravy bowl (?)/dish
  • 1 covered dish with removeable lid
  • 1 sugar (?) bowl with removeable lid
  • 1 creamer

Original Miniature OJ Tea Set Label Miniature OJ Tea Set in Box

Excelsior for 91-Piece Miniature OJ Tea SetAlso included is the original lidded box that has slots for each piece and is marked “Made in Occupied Japan.” It does have some damage and discoloration but is still in fair condition considering its age! It also includes its original excelsior for padding, but I will wrap each piece individually using bubble wrap to help prevent breakage in transit. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add this incredible set to your collection! I can almost guarantee that you will never come across anything like it again!

To purchase this marvelous set, please visit my listing on Etsy.



One Comment

  1. Tommie wrote:

    This is amazing! I just found one on the Longest Yardsale and cannot find out anything about it. This is the closest I’ve found. Mine also has the teapot. Please contact me tommie_black@bellsouth.net
    Thanks