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

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