I received my first two Tasseography cup sets in the early to mid 1990s. My first cup was the c.1938 Lipton’s Tea (made by JG Meakin) ‘Marigold’ cartomancy style Cup of Knowledge. Then a few years later, I received a c.1978 International Collector’s Guild ZARKA Fortune Telling Cup . 

It was from that point forward, that I became fascinated with these sets, and all the other commercial items that were created to regular everyday people to foretell their future with their morning cup of tea.

Being a lover of history, tea and divination . . . much like Alice in Wonderland . . . I fell down the rabbit hole of collecting everything she could find related to this ancient Art.

After starting with those two cups, I began collecting in earnest, and in the last 25+ years I’ve created a museum with over 180 individual items related to Tea Leaf Reading. The collection now has 60 + historical cups and cup sets, as well as books, booklets, advertising, postcards, tea company gimmicks and giveaways, as well as textiles. A collection that spans over 120+ years of history related to reading the leaves. 

I had the parts of collection on display over the years at Tea festivals, and esoteric events. When I had my bricks and mortar store, I had nearly the entire collection on display. When I closed my storefront, and moved the business back home, the collection was stored away until June 2023, when we transported nearly the entire collection, (160 objects) to Cleveland, Ohio. Where the collection was on display for a full year, at the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick. I love that my collection had been seen by so many divinely curious people while they toured the Buckland Museum. 

The collection took over the back gallery of their museum, and it looked like it was meant to be there, as it filled out the whole room. A perfect fit some would say! The collection itself has been a passion of mine for so many years, and to have it on display at the Buckland Museum, just brought so much joy to my heart, and apparently a whole lot of many people appreciated and admired it too. 

Thank you to Steven Intermill and his wife Jillian Slane for their kindness and hospitality while we visited to set up, teach, and just this past weekend, to take down and bundle up the collection and pack it away for its trip back to Canada. 

The collection will be on display again, with some luck, later this year. 

You also can find 8 items from the collection, on display at the Billings Estate National Historic Site for their Steeped In Traditions exhibit in Ottawa until October 13, 2024. I also will be out at Billings Estate in August teaching about The Art of Tasseomancy, and I’ll have 30 extra items on display then too . . . But more on that later!


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