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Miniature Teapot

ca. 1720 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This miniature teapot is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.

There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. A little girl might have used this teapot to play at being a grown-up lady.

The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Miniature Teapot
  • Miniature Lid for a Teapot
Materials and Techniques
Silver
Brief Description
Silver, London, ca.1720, mark of David Clayton
Physical Description
Silver, pear shaped with straight spout and scroll handle. Domed lid (detachable) with knop.
Dimensions
  • Height: 1.625in
  • Width: 2.25in
Marks and Inscriptions
Mark of DC for David Clayton
Credit line
Bequeathed by Denton Welch
Object history
Bequest - Denton Welch

Acquisition RF: 49 / 263
Summary
This miniature teapot is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.



There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. A little girl might have used this teapot to play at being a grown-up lady.



The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.
Collection
Accession Number
M.47:1, 2-1949

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record createdSeptember 10, 2004
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