Archive for the ‘teapot’ Category

Mansion form teapot with metal lid, c.1750

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

This whimsical teapot in the form of a three-story Georgian mansion is made of saltglaze stoneware pottery. The molded decoration includes a coat of arms, guards, animals, vines, birds, a dancing couple, and a crane on a serpent’s head spout. It measures 5.75 inches high, 8 inches wide from handle to spout and was made in the Staffordshire region of England, circa 1750-1760.

After the original lid broke or went missing, an intricate tin replacement in the form of a shingled roof with a chimney as knob was made by a clever tinker. This is one of just a few replacement lids I have come across where the repairer copied the form of the original, and I am so glad that he (or she) did!












This teapot of similar form suggests what the original lid on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Black basalt Wedgwood teapot, c.1920

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

This small squat black basalt teapot has raised classical sprig decoration. It was made in England in the first quarter of the 1900s and measures 3.5 inches high and 6.25 inches from handle to spout. On the underside are the incised marks WEDGWOOD, 42, 10, SW.

Typical of an enormous number of 18th and 19th century teapots from all around the globe, metal spouts were attached to replace damaged ones, or to insure that undamaged spouts would remain so. Many were made of tin but some, such as this, were made of silver.

Sadly, the knob on the lid broke off during shipping. Of course I could just glue it back on but I think I’d rather see a silver replacement to match the spout in its place.

This identical teapot has its original spout.

wedgwood teapot

Photo courtesy of eBay

London shape Coalport teapot, c.1812

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

This stately London shape porcelain teapot was made by the Coalport Porcelain Works of England, c.1812. It has a linear pattern in gold with red accents of birds perched on the branches of a fantastical tree, complete with a nest resembling an upturned straw boater hat. It measures 6.5 inches high and 10 inches from handle to spout.

Naturally, I prefer the side riddled with 21 metal staples, as I feel they add a layer of unintentional whimsy to the printed pattern beneath. The final photo shows the teapot on display at the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques, on view now through October 1 at Boscobel House and Gardens. Come see it, along with hundreds of other examples from my collection of antiques with inventive repairs.


“Love and live Happay” teapot, c.1805

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

I am a big fan of ceramics with bold, graphic decoration, especially ones with text, and this charming example certainly fits the bill. This Prattware pottery teapot, proclaiming “Love and live Happay (sic),” was made in England in the early 1800s. Standing 5.25 inches high and 10 inches wide, it is painted in typical Prattware colors, including green, yellow, blue, and brown.

It appears that long ago, Mr. Butterfingers loved his teapot so much that he tossed it up in the air with glee, but didn’t catch it on its way back down. Sadly, the lid and handle shattered beyond repair, but thankfully a tinsmith was able to craft a nifty metal replacement handle so the teapot was able to be loved again and live happ(a)ily ever after.

This teapot with similar shape and decoration shows what the original handle and lid on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Agnes Ashe

Chinese Imari teapot with double repair, c.1720

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

This bullet-form porcelain teapot has it all: good looks, great form, a winning personality, and two different early inventive repairs. It was made in China for export during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and is decorated with floral sprays in the Japanese Imari palette with bold colors and strong graphics. It measures 4 inches high and 6.5 inches wide from handle to spout.

At some point in its early life, a spoutless teapot was brought to a repairer who made a simple metal replacement spout. Not long after, it was brought back to be fitted for a wicker covered bronze replacement handle. A friend once showed me a similarly shaped teapot that had met such an end. And by merely sealing up the hole left by the missing spout and grinding down the handle terminals, the original owner lost a teapot but gained a sugar bowl. As much as I marvel at the ingenuity of that transformation, I am glad my broken teapot is still a teapot.

This teapot with similar form and decoration shows what the original handle and spout might have looked like on mine.

Photo courtesy of Alain Truong

Wedgwood barrel-form teapot, c.1780

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

This basalt stoneware barrel-form teapot was made in England by Wedgwood, and in production from 1780 to 1790. It measures 3.5 inches high and 6 inches wide from handle to spout. The underside has the impressed mark “WEDGWOOD, Z, 1x”, and “B257” is hand painted in gold on the underside of the teapot and its lid.

Sadly for some but happily for me, over 200 years ago this small teapot slipped from the hands of someone who must have cherished it and the spout broke off. It was taken to a jeweler or tinker who replaced it with a silver spout on a scalloped plate. I have many examples of spouts with the same design, so I assume they were made in bulk by jewelers to have on hand, ready to be popped on to similarly damaged teapots. The lid’s knob broke off at a later date but was not replaced. I am hoping one day to make my own replacement knob of the same design, perhaps in silver to match the spout.

This undamaged teapot shows what the original spout and Sibyl-form knob looked like before they were damaged.

Photo from British Teapots & Tea Drinking by Robin Emmerson.

Georgian creamware teapot, c.1790

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

I love finding pieces with multiple repairs and this lovely soft paste pottery creamware teapot with pearlware glaze fits the bill nicely. It was made in Staffordshire or Leeds, England, in the late 1700s and is hand painted with spritely polychrome floral decoration on both sides. It measures 5 inches high and is marked with what appears to be A+A in red on the underside of the pot and lid.

But of course the reason it ended up in my collection is the three inventive repairs, which include a slightly exaggerated bronze handle covered in rattan, a brass collar concealing a chipped spout, and a cracked lid repaired with brown paper tape. I believe each repair was done years apart so one can only assume that the previous owners of this teapot were a clumsy lot.

This teapot still has its original handle and spout and shows what mine may have looked like before it was repaired.

Photo courtesy of Skinner

Chinese teapot with wood handle, c.1750

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

This beautiful porcelain teapot was made in China in the mid-1700s and is decorated with cherry blossoms, bamboo, and birds using cobalt blue underglaze with red and gilt overglaze enamels. It stands 5 inches high and is 7.25 inches wide from handle to spout. The matching lid has a skep shaped knob.

For me, the real beauty of this teapot is in the overscaled wood replacement handle, which would look more at home on a pewter teapot of the same period. I have many teapots in my collection with similar wood replacement handles all made with an electric log splitter, each with slight variations. I find the fanciful carved wood handle is in direct contrast to the simple globular form of the body, making for a quirky mashup. Naturally, I prefer this unique example over a “perfect” one any day.

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This teapot with similar form shows what the original loop handle on mine might have looked like.


Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

Pewter teapot, c.1850

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

This unassuming pewter teapot was most likely made in America in the mid 19th century. It stands 9 inches tall and has a fanciful wooden handle and knob. As pewter is a soft and malleable metal, many early pieces did not survive intact. This pot is one such example.

At some point during the past 160+ years, the original base was damaged and the tea stopped flowing. A tinsmith fashioned a simple tin conical foot as a replacement and the teapot was able to function once again. At the time of the repair, the shiny metal base stood in stark contrast to the dull pewter. But today, both metals appear to have melded and the repair is now hard to detect.

This pewter teapot with similar form suggests what the original base on mine might have looked like.


Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese teapot with butterflies, c.1780

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

This porcelain globular-form footed teapot was made in China in the late 1700s and is decorated in the famille rose palette with flowers, butterflies, and a diaper pattern border along the rim and on the lid. It measures 4 inches high.

A sturdy metal spout stands at attention, replacing the original porcelain one that was damaged. At a later date, a metal chain was attached to keep the lid from going astray. I have numerous metal replacement spouts just like this and feel that repairers had a stock of them on hand to be attached to damaged teapots. Look for an upcoming post where I compare and contrast similarly made replacement spouts.






This teapot, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original spout on mine may have looked like.


Photo courtesy of 1stdibs