Wades from Red Rose Tea

Submitted by Michael Ely June 19th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Back in 1967, Canada’s Red Rose Tea began giving away tiny figurines in each box of tea. These little ceramic pieces were called whimsies, manufactured in England by the Wade company. They were originally intended for children, but adults fell for their charm as well. The first whimsies consisted of various animals. Then, in the 1970’s, a collection of nursery rhyme figurines were released (called nurseries). This collection included Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty, Puss in Boots, Jack and Jill, Little Red Riding Hood and others, and many of these pieces have become quite collectable, and some quite valuable such as the Queen of Hearts and the Gingerbread Man (the Gingerbread Man is very thin thus it often gets broken making it a rare piece). Other collections over the years have consisted of zoo animals, sea critters, endangered animals and circus figurines (released in the 1990’s, my fave is the dancing poodle). To this day, Red Rose continues to put a little Wade in every box of tea (the current collection is a set of calendar pieces).

6 Responses to “Wades from Red Rose Tea”

  1. Allee Willis

    I literally have had maybe 5 glasses of tea in my life and that was only when it was forced down my throat by my mother when I had a cold. Had I known there were prizes lurking in every box I most certainly would have tried to develop a fondness for the substance.

    How many total of these do you think you have? Are they all in the photos or are there more lurking around?

    So great that you have the Red Rose stand to display them in.

    • Michael Ely

      Yes, I have several other Wades lurking about, but my favorites will always be the nursery rhyme figurines.

      As far as the ceramic display stand, that and other display stands can be purchased from the Red Rose Tea official site: http://www.redrosetea.com/figurinehistory.aspx

      Allee, I can’t believe that you don’t drink tea! I drink tea all day long. It makes me feel both perky and relaxed at the same time. Do you not like the taste of tea? What about flavored herbal teas? Do you drink coffee?

      • Lisa Rios

        What a wonderful informative post this was. I occasionally see these and have often wondered what they were.

        There’s a lion in the middle of your 2nd photo. I got that for my mom for mother’s day in the early 70’s. I was very young, 5 or 6, and my dad walked me across the street to go to a garage sale and that’s what I picked out and bought for my mom with my own money.

        Perhaps my first garage sale purchase! And I do love garage sailing….

  2. Allee Willis

    I’ve never tasted a tea I like. I’m a coffee gal tho haven’t drank coffee coffee in about 20 years. I like strong decaf. I’m big on flavors like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut and the like. I like it very light, drowned in half and half, and 1 teaspoon of sugar (down from 3). Beyond anything i like the smell of it brewing.

  3. Nessa

    Oh, I have a ton of these! My grandma would always give them to me so I was always begging her to buy more tea. I still get excited about them, now a co-worker gives me hers.