Deutsch am Donnerstag – Sammeltassen



These cups and saucers belonged to my grandmother. As a child I was always fascinated by them as they were so tiny – just right for using with dolls. Nowadays you could say they are Espresso cups as that’s the size they are.

But I only know them as Sammeltassen -ornamental cups and saucers. Sammeln = to collect, Tassen = cups.

The tradition of collecting cups goes back to the early 19th century. People used to collect cups and saucers while on holidays as souvenirs, often with writing on them. They were also often given as presents for birthdays or weddings. According to Wikipedia (German article) the tradition carried on until the 1970s.

Nowadays, Sammeltassen are just cups with advertising writing and logos on them, which people like to collect. But I like the dainty little cups and saucers they used to collect.

In 2012 the Bad Pyrmonter Fürstentreff attempted a world record of having a meeting with the most ‘Sammeltassen’, and they achieved it with 999 cups and saucers. They are in the Guiness Book of records now.

Have a look, there is no German knowledge required to watch this video:

Do you have any ‘Sammeltassen’? Maybe some German ones? I’d love to see them.

If you’ve got some and are happy for them to be seen here, email me a picture and I’ll add it to the blog post.

Here is one. A German friend has an almost identical cup and saucer from her grandmother:

Bettina's Sammeltasse

EDIT 2022: Today I received these pictures in an email. Thank you

2 thoughts on “Deutsch am Donnerstag – Sammeltassen”

  1. I had some sammeltassen from my German grandmother. Over time, some chipped or outright broke. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, hubs doesn’t care about fancy coffee cups, and the era of having tea time mostly ended (an era in which I added charming Brambly Hedge pieces to our tea-time accoutrements). My daughter is grown and married with her own taste in decor. My taste in decor changed as well. My eating parameters changed. I shared nearly all of what remained forward for others to enjoy, and look sadly at the items kept that have broken since then. I don’t want to live in a museum-of-china display, and tea sucks without sugar so these things don’t have much use anymore. When I get over my sentimentality, I see that the Brambly Hedge tea pot could fetch quite a nice price online, if my daughter doesn’t have a sentimental moment about it. I feel no need to collect more, and love plain white plates, cups, saucers, mugs, serveware, etc. and natural wood items (some of which came from parents and grandparents) … the simpler, the better. I’ve finally encountered an era with the trend that feels right to me, I expect I’ll stick with it.

    • It’s a tricky situation. Lots of things don’t fit in our houses but have sentimental value. I guess, one day I have to decide what to do with mine as my daughter isn’t interested in them either…


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