It’s St. Nicholas Day, so I was happy to receive a gift I bought for myself.

I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping, so I had no business buying anything for myself. However, I saw this at a tea shop in Oxnard and was absolutely charmed by it.  The owner said she had it listed at Etsy and would ship it to me, and I succumbed to temptation.

It’s Japanese lusterware. Also called lustreware, lusterware is porcelain with iridescent glazes. Hand painting and a second firing are characteristic of the technique.

It’s an ancient technique, originating in the Middle East. It came to England in the 1800s, and Japanese artisans picked it up toward the end of that century. This set is marked with Japan as the country of origin.

There is a teapot, milk and sugar jugs, two cups, and a bunch of saucers and plates. It’s just right for tea with a friend.