Saturday, June 18, 2011


 Sammeltassen  means collection cups in German.
There is a wonderful history behind it.
An old German tradition was to give Sammeltassen
to young girls as gifts on their birthdays.
 These six Sammeltassen sets are from my 9th birthday party.
Sammeltassen are  three-piece sets
 that included cup, saucer and dessert plate.
 They were very ornamental. 
Each set had a different pattern.
Most had gold edging.
Markings on bottom.
 I had six little girlfriends come to my 9th birthday party in Germany.
 I was spending the summer in Germany.
 I was told about the tradition then.
 Each party guest brought me a set.
 Each pattern was different.
 So much better than toys!
 The more patterns in your collection the better.
 When the young girls become adults and get married 
they'll have enough dishes to host Cafe und Kuchen.
  Guests can keep track of their dishes this way.
 They were made from fine German porcelain.
 Come for Cafe! 
Being invited for cafe was another German tradition
 for entertaining family and friends.
It always meant a delicious home-baked kuchen (cake)
and lots of cafe (coffee or tea).
  Most Sunday afternoons you would visit friends/family
 or have them stop by to enjoy conversation and laughter. 
Gemutlichkeit  (friendliness)
It's the similar to English Tea Time. 
I was born in  Germany and we left when I was 4.
Lamperthiem, Germany
I flew to Germany by myself from Miami to Idelwild (now Kennedy) Airport in New York, 
with one more stop and onto Frankfurt. This was before jets! I was 8 in the passport photo
My passport, yellow vaccination report,
National Airlines ticket to New York.
Pan American over the ocean to Frankfurt.
I left on June 8th and returned October 16th.
 I was spending my 9th summer visiting
my grandparents and other family.

I'm remembering this today because it's my birthday.
I think I'll have my coffee and birthday cake in my

Sending Good Wishes Your Way!


  1. Happy Birthday Rita May!! I didn't realize you were of German descent. How wonderful that you can claim two countries as home! I would love to visit Germany; my in-laws have been several times. Your Sammeltassen are just exquisite. All the patterns are truly beautiful, and what wonderful, unique keepsakes for you. We have a set of Bavarian china given to us by my husband's grandmother. It is for our son to have when he has his own home. I do think the Bavarian porcelain is lovely, so dressy and delicate looking. Thanks for sharing this sweet story, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday.



  2. Rita, happy birthday! I love your information of German tradition. How special to have these memories. Although not born there, my DH and I are of German descent and have visited twice. His family originated in Fehrman and mine around Hallstedt/Bremen. We have met some wonderful people there. Enjoy your day! Connie

  3. Happy Birthday Rita! What a lovely post about a lovely tradition. I can't imagine flying alone to Germany as a child particularly years ago before jets. The first time I flew in a large plane it was by myself...I was 17 (it wasn't a jet plane either) from Cleveland to Detroit for a cousin's wedding when I was in high school. My Dad had a private pilot license and loved to fly...the first time I flew was with him in his little plane I think I was around 16. I have some German in me too. No family records but it was passed down maybe great grandfather was from Hamburg. I loved looking at your beautiful teacup sets.

  4. Happy, happy birthday Rita!
    Such a lovely post, and pretty cups :o)
    Best wishes
    Rose H

  5. Rita! How delightful!I just adore those sets of cups and plates. What a beautiful tradition... Happy Birthday to a friend I have never met... but have visited in the heart. Blogland is wonderful...

  6. Happy Birthday!! Wow, to have gone on such an adventure when so young! Thanks for sharing your memories; they're always a delightful read.

    I hope you're able to have a super day on this special day.

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  7. My friend Jeanie sent me a picture of her Sammeltassen with this note;

    Alex's mom brought these from Germany, now I know the story behind them. Only 4 survived over the years.

  8. Oh! Happy Birthday, Rita!! Your Sammeltassen are exquisite. Hope your day has been a delightful one. My Nana gave me a teacup and saucer every year for 14 years. We're Irish and as far as I know it isn't tradition, just something she did for me.

  9. Happy Birthday! I love the details in your blog. I have a couple of these sets, and now I know a 'back story'. One of my favorite sets like this I got at an estate sale that had many different patterns of these sets. I wonder if the owner got the sets at a birthday party...

  10. Hallo Rita, Alles gute zum Geburtstag. I have some of the same Tassen! How exiting. Cheers

  11. Happy Birthday Rita!

    What a gorgeous post! Love all the different patterns! Weren't you just the "grown-up" going so far away! Wonderful memories!


  12. Happy Birthday! Those sets are wonderful. I am not familiar with these, although my family is German.,..but lived in Russia. How wonderful you still have them!

  13. Well Happy Birthday! I loved hearing about this tradition. What a fun thing to do for a little girls party. And the cups are so beautiful. What a wonderful memory. We are of German decent, but have been in this country for 4 generations now. So most of those kinds of traditions are gone.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  14. Happy Birthday!!!! What fabulous cups and such wonderful heirlooms. I love the history of them. Very special and what a great tradition. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. Happy Birthday, dear Rita!! Your cup sammeltassen is does beat toys! What a wonderful tradition, I think next year I will do this with my grandgirl Victoria! I love the history of them, it's unique and very special. You were a beautiful little girl and a lovely lady...thank you for sharing it with us and enjoy your special day and many blessings for the new year of life. I dropped by from TTT, too. Lots of hugs, FABBY

  16. What a charming post! I loved learning about this German tradition. Your china is just beautiful and I think I have a new obsession!
    HaPpY BiRtHdAy! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Happy Birthday!!! what a wonderful tradition and lovely treasures you have shared with us ... found you through Tablescapes Thursdays .. now following your wonderful blog!! HHL

  18. I have the biggest goosebumps right now.. Lampertheim, that is where I lived in Germany.. Oh goodness. Now I have to know when you were there... I lived there from 1968 through 1971. If I could only remember our address. I too have a collection of Sammeltassen. They were my Oma's and a few of my mother's. I've added to them as I could find them and I love to set a dessert table with them! Thanks for the many memories flooding through my head. Many blessings, Marlis

  19. Happy Birthday Rita! I love this German tradition! How beautiful to have that lovely collection. This is even better than English tea time!

  20. This is just wonderful...thank you for sharing this tradition and it IS better than toys!!

  21. Sucha wonderful post - the beautiful cups and saucers and the story of your journey. Just wonderful.

    - The Tablescaper

  22. Liebe Rita May! Ich wünsche Dir alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Deine Sammeltassen sind wunderschön und haben durch die vielen Erinnerungen, die damit verbunden sind, einen unschätzbaren Wert. Ich kannte diese schöne Tradition bis anhin nicht. Es ist sehr schade, dass dieser Brauch nicht weiter gepflegt wird. Bei uns in der Schweiz war es üblich, dass die Mädchen zum Geburtstag und zu Weihnachten jeweils eine Gabel, einen Löffel oder ein Messer aus Silber von ihrer Paten und Verwandten erhielten. Das Fehlende wurde dann zur Konfirmation geschenkt. So hatte jedes Mädchen in der Regel das Besteck für die Aussteuer zusammen.
    Mit lieben Grüssen aus der Schweiz

  23. Happy Geburtstag! I so enjoyed reading this post about your wonderful collection of Sammeltassen. You have quite a beautiful collection with such lovely memories associated to them.

    I had not heard about the Sammeltassen tradition before reading your post. I am so glad to have learned about it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  24. What an utterly charming tradition! And it's so wonderful that you still have your Sammeltassen!

    I got a kick from seeing your passport picture from long ago! You seem to have a knack for saving the important stuff! I've really enjoyed your post!

  25. Just simply LOVELY! Thank you for sharing!!