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Teapot and cover

Teapot and cover

  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salt-glazed stoneware, moulded

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Charlotte Schreiber

  • Museum number:

    414:989/&A-1885

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 50 []

The years around 1750 were extraordinarily creative and prosperous for the Staffordshire pottery industry, with factories responding to widening markets and changes in dining and drinking habits by developing or perfecting new designs, materials, and forming and decorative techniques.

This teapot is made in white salt-glazed stoneware, a material introduced before 1720 containing white clays and calcined flint that was fired and glazed in the manner of German stonewares. The flint gave the material tremendous strength and allowed very thin potting. Around 1740 Staffordshire potters revived the slip-casting technique, which had been invented by the Elers brothers in the 1690s but had not been used since that time. This process involved pouring liquid clay into hollow plaster moulds in which the wares were formed. The great advantage of moulds is that they allowed the manufacture of complex and highly irregular shapes in bulk. Liberated from the circular forms dictated by the potter’s wheel, Staffordshire potters responded by making vessels in wildly imaginative shapes, in doing so creating some of the first European novelty teapots, a ceramic genre that still flourishes today. Factories bought in designs for such wares in the form of ‘block moulds’ (the convex ‘master models’ from which concave manufacturing moulds were made) from specialist craftsmen.

The widening habit of drinking tea and coffee created a huge demand for such wares, both at home and in the growing export markets in continental Europe and the American colonies, and this gave the Staffordshire Potteries a huge boost as the area began to industrialize in the early eighteenth century.

Physical description

Teapot and cover of white salt-glazed stoneware and moulded.

Place of Origin

Staffordshire (made)

Date

ca. 1750 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Salt-glazed stoneware, moulded

Dimensions

Height: 10 cm, Length: 10.2 cm, Width: 5.4 cm

Descriptive line

Teapot and cover of salt-glazed stoneware and moulded in the shape of a kneeling camel with a tower on its back, maker unknown, made in Staffordshire, ca. 1750

Materials

Salt glaze; Stoneware

Techniques

Moulded

Subjects depicted

Tower houses; Dolphin (animal); Camel

Categories

Ceramics; Stoneware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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