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Fran Pelinka displays children's tea set
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Washington County Museum’s Collector’s Cabinet now sports a collection of children’s tea sets of all vintages and origins. Fran Pelinka’s collection is on loan to the museum through September.
As a child, Pelinka (Instructional support technician for electronics engineering) received her first tea set of Bavarian china from her German Oma (Grandmother.) Still fondly remembering the precious gift from the grandma she never met, Pelinka began to collect children’s tea sets a decade ago. She added fine china from Japan, Germany and America. The collection currently totals 23 tea sets.
Two of the sets — one of which was made by a German company that is still in business — were made in the early 1900s. Pelinka’s mother-in-law contributed her own set from her childhood. The collection also includes contemporary sets.
In the past, Pelinka hosted tea parties for her friends and their children. She still holds adult tea parties and displays the children’s tea sets in curio cabinets throughout her home. She would like to meet other local collectors of children’s dishes and tea sets.
“I am very excited about sharing my tea set collection,” she says. “Perhaps it will inspire some child or adult to start their own collection.” She advises future and current collectors to “take good care of what they have and cherish the memories…and be sure to keep the original boxes.”
The Washington County Museum is located on the Rock Creek Campus. It is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and youth ages 6-17. Admission is free for children under 6, members, employees of corporate members, and PCC faculty, students and staff.