The Railroad Commissary
Welcome to The Railroad Commissary's
"Cup and Saucer" scam to be avoided page. Please feel free to send questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org Relevant information, and credits, will be posted.
A popular scam is to sell a cup with a bread plate and call the set a "cup and saucer". As everyone knows (even the dishonest dealers) a saucer nearly ALWAYS has a center well, or cup ring. The truth is, cup and saucer sets sell better than single cups, yet some saucers are scarce (or maybe just not convenient), and bread plates are often common - to the dishonest dealer, the solution is obvious. Indeed, as of the time of this writing, there are two dubious on-line railroad china dealers offering just such mis-matched sets as "cups and saucer sets". My suggestion is look at the photos closely, and let their actions speak for these dealers' level of integrity.
Another, lesser problem, are cup and saucer sets where the cup foot rim doesn't fit into the saucer well. This problem is more prevelant with certain patterns (B&O Centenary demi sets come to mind). One on-line dealer actually claims that such misfits are "typical" – this is NOT the case, they just have a mis-matched set (a cup of one style and a saucer of another). All matched sets fit well – the same as you would expect if you bought a cup and saucer set new from a store. For their part, railroads never bought mis-matched sets new. Over time, as the patterns evolved, the possibility of mis-matched sets arose. While some collectors may certainly choose to display sets with this small fault, it ought be the collector's choice, not the china dealer's slight of hand.
The Railroad Commissary would never sell a cup and bread plate as a "cup and saucer set", and would only sell a cup that didn't match its saucer as seperate items.