French enamel Contemporary
Parisian Napoleon III
French 19th c.
French enamel 19th c.
Parisian Porcelain 19th c
Parisian Porcelain 1860
English Silver 1890
English late 19th c.
from Nouvelles Images 1998
postmarked in 2012 with three Netherlands stamp
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History of the Teapot:
The teapot probably derived from the ceramic kettles and wine pots which were also made in bronze and other metals and were a feature of Chinese cultural life for thousands of years. The earliest example of a teapot that has survived to this day seems to be the one in the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware; it has been dated to 1513 and attributed to Gongchun.
Early teapots are small by western standards because they are generally designed for a single drinker and the Chinese historically drank the tea directly from the spout. The size reflects the importance of serving small portions each time so that the flavours can be better concentrated, controlled and then repeated.
From the end of the 17th century tea was shipped from China to Europe as part of the export of exotic spices and luxury goods. The ships that brought the tea also carried porcelain teapots. The majority of these teapots were painted in blue and white underglaze. Porcelain being completely vitrified will withstand sea water without damage, so the teapots were packed below deck whilst the tea stayed on top in the dry.
Tea drinking in Europe was initially the preserve of the upper classes since it was very expensive. Porcelain teapots were particularly desirable because porcelain could not be made in Europe at that time. It wasn't until 1708 that Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus devised a way of making porcelain in Dresden, Germany, and started the Meissen factory in 1710. When European potteries began to make their own tea wares they were naturally inspired by the Chinese designs.
In colonial America, Boston became the epicenter for silver production and artistry. Among the many artists in Boston, there were four major families in the city's silver market, including Edwards, Revere, Burt and Hurd. Their works of art included silver teapots.