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Teapot and cover
  • Teapot and cover
    Wedgwood, Ralph, born 1766 - died 1837
  • Enlarge image

Teapot and cover

  • Place of origin:

    Yorkshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1796-1781 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wedgwood, Ralph, born 1766 - died 1837 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lead-glazed earthenware with transfer-printed decoration

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 138, The Harry and Carol Djanogly Gallery, case 9, shelf 1 []

Tea began to be imported into Britain from the middle of the 17th century but remained a luxury item until import duties were abolished in 1784. A fashionable and social drink, during the 18th century it was prepared in front of guests. English tea drinkers differed from their Chinese counterparts by preferring to drink tea hot and with milk and sugar, the latter becoming increasingly available through West Indies sugar plantations which relied on the labour of African slaves.

‘The Tea Party’ engraving by Robert Hancock, which appears on one side of this tea pot, is one of the most popular designs to have been used on 18th century English ceramics. It shows a well-dressed couple drinking tea in a garden, attended by a young black male servant who pours hot water from a kettle into a teapot. About 10,000 Africans are estimated to have been living in 18th century England, most working as, often unpaid, domestic staff. For their affluent owners these African servants were status symbols who offered ‘exotic associations’ like the new beverage, tea.

Physical description

Teapot and cover of lead-glaze earthenware with transfer-printed decoration. Printed in red with a version of 'The Tea Party' on one side and a shepherd and sheep on the other.

Place of Origin

Yorkshire (made)


ca. 1796-1781 (made)


Wedgwood, Ralph, born 1766 - died 1837 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Lead-glazed earthenware with transfer-printed decoration

Marks and inscriptions

'Wedgwood & Co.'


Height: 5.5 in, Diameter: 5.25 in at widest point

Descriptive line

Teapot and cover of lead-glaze earthenware, made by Wedgwood & Co., Yorkshire, ca. 1796-1781

Labels and date

Made at the factory of Ralph Wedgwood, Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, 1796-81
Lead-glazed earthenware with transfer-printed decoration

Circa.48&A-1959 [23/05/2008]

Production Note

Made by Ralph Wedgwood's 'Wedgwood & Co.' at the Ferrybridge Pottery, Yorkshire.


Earthenware; Lead glaze


Transfer printed

Subjects depicted



Black History; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Ceramics; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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