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Teapot and cover
  • Teapot and cover
    Greatbatch, William, born 1735 - died 1813
  • Enlarge image

Teapot and cover

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1760-1765 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Greatbatch, William, born 1735 - died 1813 (designer)
    Whieldon, Thomas, born 1719 - died 1786 (maker)
    Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware with a lead glaze stained with metal oxides and moulded

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Charlotte Schreiber

  • Museum number:

    414:1069/&A-1885

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118; The Wolfson Gallery, case 3 []

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.

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.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1760-1765 (made)

Artist/maker

Greatbatch, William, born 1735 - died 1813 (designer)
Whieldon, Thomas, born 1719 - died 1786 (maker)
Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware with a lead glaze stained with metal oxides and moulded

Dimensions

Height: 11.5 cm, Length: 19.9 cm, Width: 8.2 cm

Descriptive line

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.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X

Labels and date

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]

Materials

Lead glaze; Earthenware

Techniques

Moulded

Subjects depicted

Pineapple

Categories

Ceramics; Earthenware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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