Q: Many, many fans in discussion groups regarding "Father Brown" are wanting to know the manufacturer and pattern name of that beautiful tea set used in the kitchen scenes. It's turquoise and white, trimmed in gold. Any help is greatly appreciated.

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

The internet is indeed full of speculation about this burning (or maybe boiling) question, so I went to the man himself for the final word -- not the constantly curious clergyman Father Brown, of course, as he's a fictional character. Instead, I found the next best thing, but you're not going to like what he said.

"There are no markings anywhere on the set," said Iain Downes, props buyer on the most recent season of "Father Brown." He actually pulled the set out to check for a maker's mark, just to be sure. "I presume it's from a company 'inspired' by a more famous brand."

That inspiration seems to be the Wedgwood Ulander Powder Turquoise tea set. Wedgwood is a famous brand indeed -- it's a luxury china company founded in England in 1759, so the location is certainly right. However many of the details aren't.

The Wedgwood tea pot has turquoise and gold on the lid and handles, while the "Father Brown" set has a white lid and handles. And in some of the scenes I looked at, it appears the actors are using pieces from different, mismatched sets, and in some scenes -- gasp -- they're using coffee cups instead of tea cups.

While all of this may make anglophiles and tea purists a little faint, it might actually speak to the show's attempts -- indeed, Downes' attempts -- at a different sort of authenticity.

Remember that the set in question is the one in the residence of a poor, country clergyman in the years after World War II. With that in mind, owning a knockoff set would be likely, and it would in fact be unlikely that the rectory would have a complete set of anything -- breakages happen, pieces get lost and so on. It would make sense for the father, or his helpful Mrs. McCarthy, to replace them with a piece as similar-looking as could be found in the parish.

I apologize in advance to lovers of the set. I told Downes about the lengths that dedicated viewers such as yourself had gone to in search of an answer, and he joked that he might retire the set from the show to avoid "driv[ing] fans over the edge."


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.