Posts Tagged ‘basalt’

Black basalt teapot, c.1820

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

This small earthenware pottery teapot with squat round shape was made in England during the first quarter of the 19th century. It has a black basalt glaze, aka Jackfiend and Egyptian black, and stands 4-1/2″ high. Due to its small size it is known as both a Bachelor’s and a one-cup teapot. Some collectors and dealers believe that these tiny teapots are miniatures or part of a child’s tea set, but they are actually functioning teapots.

By now my readers know that the main reason I purchased this teapot is due to its early replacement handle. Made by a tinker in the 19th century, the workmanship is a bit crude, as is evident by the malaligned horizontal band laden with excess soldier and the twisted wire support around the base. But even a funny looking tiny teapot with a clunky metal repair is better than burning your fingers on a teapot with no handle.

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

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Photo courtesy of Ancient Point 

Georgian Castleford teapot, c.1810

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

This handsome Castleford-style teapot with neoclassical design was made in England in the early 1800s. It is made of fine-grained unglazed black basalt stoneware with a hinged lid set in a scalloped rim and fastened with a metal pin. It measures 5-1/2″ tall and 8-3/4″ from handle to spout. Two different classical tableaux in detailed relief are on each paneled side, with acanthus leaves at the top and the bottom.

When this teapot was dropped over 150 years ago, the spout broke in two places and the knob came undone. Typically, fragile lids on teapots with this design snap off so I am surprised that this lid remains intact. A 19th century tinker repaired all of the broken bits by attaching two metal sleeves around the breaks in the spout and riveted on a new metal replacement knob. The metal repairs were originally painted black to blend in with the black basalt color of the pot, but time and age have peeled away the paint, leaving a pleasing patina to the metal. There is a later putty repair to a crack on the underside which is useless now, but I imagine it served its purpose at the time it was applied.

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This example with nearly the same form, shows what the original spout and knob would have looked like on my teapot.

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Photo courtesy of D. G. Barsby Antiques

Admiral Nelson teapot, c.1810

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A black basalt pottery teapot with relief decoration, made in England to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson become one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and many monuments in England have been erected in his memory

One side has a moulded relief vignette of a crocodile, a pyramid and a fort with military devices, surmounted by a banner titled “TRAFALGAR”, surrounded by classical acanthus leaves

Teapot measures 4-3/4″ high and is 10″ long

The reverse side shows a monument with the figures of Britannia and Victory holding a shield inscribed “NELSON”

Remains of black enamel are seen on the side of the replaced tin spout. It was quite common for teapot spouts to break or chip and I have dozens of examples of this type of repair in my collection. I have even seen silver mounts on intact spouts that would have been attached at the time of purchase for proactive protection

A well executed tin lid with turned pewter knob replaced the lost or broken lid. The large chipped scalloped edge remains unrepaired and was most likely damaged after the other repairs were done

This is another, more elaborate example of a black basalt teapot made to honor Admiral Nelson with similar decoration

Photo courtesy of Christie’s

Black basalt “one cup” teapot, c.1830

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Also known as a “Bachelor’s teapot” this small English stoneware teapot with a low round shape from the early part of the 19th century has an “Egyptian black” or “shining black” glazed basalt finish and stands 3-1/4″ tall. Some collectors and dealers believe tiny teapots such as this to be miniatures or part of a child’s tea set.

Spaniel lid finial is similar to the one on my post dated 3/12/10, English black basalt teapot, c.1810.

Ornate low relief scrollwork design surrounds the teapot and carries over to the handle design.

The end of the broken spout is repaired with a simple tin collar, one of the most common and simplest of metal repairs.

Bachelor’s salt glaze teapot, c.1820

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Black basalt glazed pottery “one cup” (aka “Bachelor’s”) teapot from England with scroll relief decoration, stands 3-1/2″ high and was made in the early 1800s.

A simple tin replacement handle was most likely made by a traveling tinsmith in the 1800s.

The intact handle on an identical teapot to mine shows what the original handle looked like.

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Antiques

English black basalt teapot, c.1790

Friday, March 12th, 2010

This black basalt teapot with a neo-classical design of curtain swags was most likely made in Staffordshire, England in the late 1700s.

Teapot measures 9-1/2″ long and 5″ high.

The figural knob is in the form of a perched spaniel.

A well made silver spout replaces the original black basalt spout.

Another teapot, similar to mine, shows what the original simple shaped spout might have looked like on mine.