Teapot and Cover thumbnail 1
Teapot and Cover thumbnail 2
+5
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118; The Wolfson Gallery

Teapot and Cover

1760-1765 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Tea canisters were containers for storing tea leaves. They are often called 'caddies' today, a name that derives from the Malay word for a measure of weight (kati) equivalent to about half a kilogram. In mid 18th-century Britain tea was made not in the kitchen but in front of the family and guests by the lady of the house. Canisters and other tea utensils are therefore often highly decorative.

The price of tea gradually fell during the 18th century as imports increased to meet demand (and because of widespread smuggling). Tea ceased to be an expensive luxury and was drunk more widely. In 1784 import duties were drastically reduced. These changes were reflected in the increasing size of tea containers over the course of the century.

Design & Manufacture
Ceramics with naturalistic moulded decoration were very popular in Britain between 1755 and 1765. This pineapple canister was made by pressing wet clay into a hollow two-piece plaster mould bearing the shape in reverse. The seam from the mould is clearly visible down the side of the canister. The hollow moulds for making this piece were formed using a convex master model of the shape. The master model would have been made in stoneware, probably by a specialist blockmaker.


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

  • Tea Canister
  • Cover
Materials and Techniques
Earthenware with a lead glaze stained with metal oxides and moulded
Brief Description
Tea canister and cover of lead-glazed creamware, moulded to resemble a pineapple, designed by William Greatbatch and moulded from a block made by either Josiah Wedgwood or Thomas Whieldon, England, 1760-1765.
Physical Description
Tea canister and cover of lead-glazed creamware, moulded to resemble a pineapple with glaze stained with green for the leaves and deep yellow for the fruit.
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.5cm
  • Length: 19.9cm
  • Width: 8.2cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: TEA CANISTERS
Although Wedgwood made a number of improvements to earthenware glazes in the years around 1760, including a green colour introduced in 1759, he is best known as a supporter of Neo-classicism. Before adopting classical forms and motifs he made pottery similar to these canisters, with naturalistically-moulded decoration and rich colour effects.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Lady Charlotte Schreiber
Subject depicted
Summary
Object Type
Tea canisters were containers for storing tea leaves. They are often called 'caddies' today, a name that derives from the Malay word for a measure of weight (kati) equivalent to about half a kilogram. In mid 18th-century Britain tea was made not in the kitchen but in front of the family and guests by the lady of the house. Canisters and other tea utensils are therefore often highly decorative.

The price of tea gradually fell during the 18th century as imports increased to meet demand (and because of widespread smuggling). Tea ceased to be an expensive luxury and was drunk more widely. In 1784 import duties were drastically reduced. These changes were reflected in the increasing size of tea containers over the course of the century.

Design & Manufacture
Ceramics with naturalistic moulded decoration were very popular in Britain between 1755 and 1765. This pineapple canister was made by pressing wet clay into a hollow two-piece plaster mould bearing the shape in reverse. The seam from the mould is clearly visible down the side of the canister. The hollow moulds for making this piece were formed using a convex master model of the shape. The master model would have been made in stoneware, probably by a specialist blockmaker.
Bibliographic References
  • Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X
  • Young, Hilary (ed.). The Genius of Wedgwood. London : Victoria & Albert Museum, 1995B6
Other Number
Sch. II 295 - Schreiber number
Collection
Accession Number
414:1069/&A-1885

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record createdDecember 2, 2002
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