Denby, it’s my coffee thing

coffee beans- cityhippyfarmgirl

It started with my nana really. If she hadn’t have given me those two matching brown coffee cups and plates 10 years ago, well, I would never have gone looking.

They were good cups. Solid cups and I liked having my one cup of coffee a day to drink out of it. The amount was perfect, the handle comfortable and the lip was great. Call me Polly Pedantic but I like a good lip on a cup- it makes the drink, I’m sure of it.

So there I was, happy with my two brown cups from Nana. Happy drinking my daily coffee from it, just as my Nana had done before me. When my mum would visit, all she could think of was seeing my Nana drinking her one coffee a day in there, but 50 years beforehand.

Fast forward to the land and time of Instagram, and I had taken a photo of my one cup a day and posted it. Not particularly exciting stuff but there it was non the less.

denby- cityhippyfarmgirl

“Looks like Denby”


“Oooh Denby!”

Say what?? What are you all talking about? My cup has a name? I looked on the bottom *gasp* it does have a name. I confer with my friend google *double gasp,* it is! It was. There stamped before me was Denby, and it seemed it’s rather a collectors thing. Looks like I could find more in the set if I was willing to sell a small child as well.

Two instagramer friends showed me the insides of their own parents Denby-ed kitchen cupboards. My knees felt a little weak…it looked so good. My cupboards too could look just as good, if I had a sack full of money and was ready to scour the earth for single pieces of Denby to create a collection.

Was I willing to do that?

Yes. Yes, it seems I was. Months later I found myself clicking pay now on ebay where I had found three exact matches to go with my other two cups. I quietly justified it by having sold a whole lot of unneeded/unloved items on gumtree the week before. About 20 things of mine had moved out to other peoples households and three sleek brown sixty year old coffee cups moved in to mine.

Decluttering the household AND some lovely bonus kitchen additions. I think my daily cup of coffee tasted particularly good that day.

coffee- cityhippyfarmgirl *************

Tell me… do you use gumtree or ebay to sell things you no longer want or have a need for?

Do you buy second hand where possible, sometimes or never ever ever in all your days?

And lastly, do you all know Denby and I was really, really slow on the uptake with this one?


45 thoughts on “Denby, it’s my coffee thing

  1. I’ve never heard of gumtree and haven’t sold on ebay simply because I don’t know what to do to get started. I’m afraid I would create a monster. I have no problems buying secondhand. I love shopping around to see what treasures I can find. I also know Denby. My stoneware I selected when I was getting married 37 years ago was Denby’s Lorraine pattern. Every now and then I check Replacements, Ltd to see what pieces they have in stock and check the prices.


    • Kim you are wonderful! I’d heard about Replacements Ltd a long time ago and never looked into it. Just had a look at the site now, how wonderful that exists!…hmmm, I would if there is an Australian equivalent? Thank you


  2. When all my friends in Canada were getting married (for the first time!) in the early 70s, Denby was the tableware du jour on many bride’s wishlist.

    PS I am about to bake your Passionfruit Shortbread.


  3. I just did most of my Christmas shopping on ebay and gumtree. Most of our unneeded stuff goes straight to the tipshop (which is where I do my scavenging too). I have been gathering remnants of china from the two grandmas of late. A $2 Turi Market jug I picked up at a garage sale was joined by the matching bits and pieces from Grandma’s house this week. And I took the old stoneware bowls out of Nana’s shed after my boys smashed most of our cereal bowls. They take me right back to the 70s, and the scrape of our knives on the plates as we cut through our ham steaks with tinned pineapple. Love your Denby mugs (and photos), and I am just a little tempted to get us a coffee grinder! x


    • Alison, the Figgjo goodies are my other ‘thing’. Well nearly…I still haven’t managed to get any, (the opshops here are sooo hopelessly picked over) but am definitely on the look out. They are so gorgeous aren’t they.

      Coffee grinder, it’s a winner. Porlex, I think is the name, it’s a Japanese number- neat, not an effort, doesn’t spread coffee everywhere and stores in a small space. Love it.


      • I had to google Figgjo Brydie – see I didn’t even know that was where they came from! I just checked the bottom of my bowls. Seems they are Denby (i had heard the name but didn’t know I had some). Thanks for the grinder info – its on my Christmas list.


      • The grinder is a good one Alison. I love adding to the whole making of the coffee ritual, by grinding the beans beforehand, (I’m not sure why, for so many years I bought it already ground.)
        Happy seeking more Figgjo and Denby 🙂


  4. What a great read Brydie! Lovely Denby although I must admit, I have never heard of it before. Almost the exact same thing happened to me but with Johnson ware. We had a few pieces in our shearer’s huts and I hadn’t paid much attention to it. Suddenly I starting seeing collections of it on blogs, some enormous collections too! I also starting noticing hipster cafes serving hipster cakes and biscuits on it. So, naturally I thought I should start paying a little more attention to it. Since then I have brought a few pieces, including a set of cups and saucers, brand new, still in their box at the Salvos. Isn’t it funny how these things happen? Love your photos too.

    Second hand goods are great, the older I get the more I seek them out!


    • It is a bit hipster isn’t it 🙂 I’ve got a couple of Johnson things but not a lot. My favourite is a 30c plate from a church sale- holey moley I love that plate, and was only wishing this morning that there were 10 more of them instead of the one that I do have.
      I wonder what people will be collecting in 40 years time?


  5. We’re moving house, so my husband is making me sell everything on Gumtree, or taking it to Cash Converters. I have trouble letting go. BUT! The new house has provided some important reasons to peruse Gumtree and find myself a lovely a buffet, or cupboard that I can make pretty. I love second hand. My mum calls me “Second hand Rose”. I don’t mind 🙂


  6. I used eBay a fair bit when I was leaving Australia. There were things I didn’t need anymore, but were far too good for the bin and it was an efficient way to get rid of things. It can also fund a few fun purchases like you have done.

    It’s a great way to recycle.


  7. We have used eBay, Gumtree and thrift shops locally for ages now. We try not to buy anything new that we can buy second hand. To me, second hand equates to better quality, especially if it has a bit of age to it. Never heard of Denby. I was left a stack of Shelley cups and saucers that my dad collected when he died. I don’t like them. Aside from a blue and white cup and saucer (I LOVE blue and white things) that I keep the rest are just bundled up in a cupboard someplace. I guess one man’s treasure is another persons “meh”. If I ever see the word “Denby” on the bottom of anything at our thrifting or garage saling ventures I will buy it for you 🙂


  8. Love the spoon in your last pic! I ‘rescue” old unusual spoons from op shops, markets etc. always check Gumtree and ebay before buying anything, and there’s a great tip shop near me, and also a Tender Centre, kind of ebay in the flesh. I have seen cups like yours but didn’t know they were Denby, much prefer fine china, like narf77’s Shelley cups and saucers…yum!


  9. I like selling on eBay but I don’t use gumtree. Unfortunately from what I have heard there is a lot of scammers on Gumtree. My first time hearing about EBay was 10 years ago and I sold a whole heap of things that I was no longer into (country style decorating) and I bought my first DSLR camera which back then cost $1,750. I like that the money didn’t have to come out of a bank account I just traded stuff I didn’t want and bought something I really wanted. That’s my style of shopping. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


  10. No I didn’t know about Denby , but I am very very particular about my coffee mug. The cup has to be exactly right or I simply cannot drink out of it. I love buying a preloved item rather than something new and we go to things called ‘swap meets’ in places like Gunnedah as a family weekend away and come home with lots interesting pieces- the thing that always sells something to me is if there is a story that goes with the item !


    • Kim I keep reading about ‘swap meets’ and I love the idea. I’m not sure if not many people do it in the city or I haven’t tapped into it properly.
      I love the story that goes along with the items as well. xx


  11. I had never heard about denby but I agree that these are excellent cups – just perfect for coffee 🙂 I haven’t used gum tree much, but was fortunate to receive a whole heap of second hand house items when setting up my home, and I look forward to passing on the favour when we move from Australia to England next year. I expect to put some bigger things on gumtree then too 🙂


  12. Oooo, Denby. Love Denby. I have had my eyes on a few Denby cups for a while, but not been able to justify buying them. I have a cup fetish. I must have. I gravitate towards cups and mugs, like a moth to a flame. A cup can enhance the entire tea/coffee drinking experience. It’s like a red ribbon around a beautiful package. Sigh. Denby.


  13. I have never heard of Denby, my loss obviously 🙂 I am a big fan of gumtree, and an even bigger fan of the council clean up score. Just today I picked up a brazier and some massive bamboo poles.


  14. Hello, Brydie.
    Love your stuff! I’m rather a homesteading vintage-hound, too! Hey, that Porlex grinder looks great (for home and camping). Do you remember where you got it?? The Porlex website doesn’t list any retailers. I’m in Sydney, too. Many thanks, Caitlin 🙂


    • Hmmm, interesting. I bought it awhile ago now, from a company called Presso Australia, I can’t find anything on the net though now- from memory it was someone based in the Blue Mountains, so close too. I do remember it took me some time to find a stockist…it’s worth it though, good luck!


      • Thanks very much, Brydie. I’ll chase that up.
        Here’s wishing you loads of unicorns and rainbows!
        Cheers, Caitlin


  15. How did I miss this post?! These are gorgeous mugs Brydie, and I love that they belonged to your grandma. I LOVE Denby, and have a set of their ‘Arabesque’ individual soup tureens with lids. I’m an op-shopper from way back and try to buy secondhand whenever possible. It’s the thrill of the hunt mostly, but it’s also the cost saving and environmental benefit. Sooo close to signing up for Instagram! Don’t think I can resist for much longer….


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