I got the first one in 1996. It has the William Morris pattern “Strawberry Thief” on it and commemorates his 100th birthday. I think it must have been the first one they made and I found it on one of the sale tables in the basement of one of my favorite places, the Liberty store in London.
I found the 2003 mug in the Liberty post-Christmas sale in January 2004. It certainly hadn’t been a hot commodity and was surrounded by a lot of other 2003 mugs that no one wanted.
Ashley’s friend Steven gave me the 2007. He had visited our house in the summer of 2006 and heard me talk about how much I loved my two mugs. Apparently the market for Liberty mugs had taken an upturn since 2003 because he searched all over the store for one to no avail when he got back to London . Steven is persistent and he finally asked one of the clerks if they had a 2007 mug, and she told him yes they had them, but they were hidden for customers who collected them. He persuaded her to sell him one and gave it to me the next time I was in London.
The lovely pale robin’s egg color on these mugs is one I love almost as much as cobalt blue. It is the blue-green that appears in many of Karl Larson’s paintings of the interior of his house. To my delight, Chloe Alberry just started making lovely stone knobs in this color. They look like little irregular eggs and have a warm smooth texture that I can imagine holding in my hand every time I open a drawer or cabinet. I bought eight of them in May and look at them often. One day I will decide where I want to put them, but for now I can’t bear to commit them to a permanent location.