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Private teapot collection - Lapáncsa

OPEN as requested

Enquiries: +44 7435 859088

06-20/520-5351 or 06-20/423-2418

"What is it you want? A teapot museum?!" my mum asked me, laughing, since she thought I was joking. "I can give you two to start with," she said, pointing at the classic Hollóházi (a well known and highly regarded Hungarian brand) and another teapot, exhibited in the kitchen cabinet. She wasn't aware at the time that I had already got different ones, and that my intentions were completely serious.

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When I was in England I really liked the charity shops where one could buy all sorts of second hand items. It was at such an establishment where I had seen such a special teapot for the first time. It looked like an old cottage. I fancied it a lot, and I started searching for other, similarly unique items. When the loft of our house had been filled with my acquisitions, I started wondering what to do with them, as I realised there were too many just to own them for the sake of it. On the other hand, I had only seen them when they had been delivered by our postman or a courier as there wasn't enough room in the house -- so most of the teapots ended up in storage boxes, under the roof.

Eventually, I had an idea: my amazing collection should not be in boxes, out of sight. Indeed, they would deserve to be in a place where people could see them, be entertained, surprised or even shocked by them, because who on earth would otherwise even think of manufacturing a teapot that looks like a toilet, just to mention one example.

Every time I set my eyes on one of those porcelain items I cheered up, and wanted to share the experience with others. However, I had no idea how or where to start.

In the meantime my grandmother sadly passed away and left a dilapidated adobe cottage in the middle of a tiny, dead-end village in southern Baranya county. None of my family members wanted to keep the property, and it would have been an uphill struggle to sell it. Demolishing the building would have cost more than its actual value, let alone refurbishing it.

I, however, was rather keen on conserving and saving the old cottage. I had fond memories, having spent many a summer there throughout my childhood years. It reminded me of the freedom and security I used to enjoy there more than anywhere else. It was sad to see more and more people moving away from the village, leaving empty, crumbling houses behind.

I felt that the place would still make an ideal location for my teapots, and I could even support the village and the local community if I made my collection visible and accessible. I decided to talk to my mum, my aunts and my uncle. I couldn't say that they liked the idea as much as I would have hoped, but they decided to let me have my granny's property anyway. And thus the difficult bit had started: finding the right contractors to renovate the building. The search went on for two years.

We had a rather tight budget, and I am proud to say that during the refurbishment we utilised a lot more used material and upcycled items than brand new goods.

In the meantime, I wrote a children's book that was published in the UK, and we spent the income of the book on the renovation and also on purchasing more bits and pieces for the collection. When I say "we", I mean myself and my husband who had always helped me with this project. To be fair, he did find some of my ideas a bit curious, but he never failed to be supportive.

In my first book I included quite a few of my childhood adventures I had during the summers I had spent in Lapáncsa. The book got published in the UK in April 2021 and it is available online (Valerie Greenfield: Mouse Tales).

We have been trying to collect donations also but with little success. However, we are really grateful to everyone who have contributed to the costs of our project with a donation or by buying my children's book.

I am hopeful that our "teapot museum" will make every visitor feel the same as me when I look at the pieces of my collection: the sense of wonder, interest and joy.

We are looking forward to your visit!


     

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