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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1745-1749 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chelsea Porcelain factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    White glazed soft-paste porcelain

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr Wallace Elliot

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52b, case 1 []

Object Type
One of several small novelty teapots produced by the Chelsea porcelain factory in its early years, this rare squatting 'chinaman' clutching a parrot may have been little more than an experimental model. A handful of examples survive.

Design & Designing
The proprietors of the new Chlesea factory, desperate for models, no doubt looked at the new, cheap, slip-cast teapots then being mass-produced in Staffordshire and attempted to make a fashionable version with more style. It is thought that the inspiration for this piece was the range of Grotesque (fancifully decorated) porcelain teapots made in France at Saint-Cloud, with which the Chelsea factory manager, Nicholas Sprimont (born about 1716; died 1771), would have been familiar. But whereas the Saint-Cloud porcelains are smooth, glassy and very white, the early Chelsea porcelain paste is much less refined, while the finer details of modelling are obscured by a thick opaque-white glaze containing tin oxide. These early white products were soon succeeded by enamelled wares of great refinement.

Physical description

Teapot with cover, in the form of a 'chinaman' holding a parrot, soft-paste porcelain with white glaze. He is shown squatting, the parrot held by wing and tail in front of him, his hat forming the lid; twig handle with applied leaves and berries.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1745-1749 (made)


Chelsea Porcelain factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

White glazed soft-paste porcelain

Marks and inscriptions

A triangle


Height: 17.1 cm, Width: 17 cm approx., including spout

Object history note

London, Amor, 1920.

Descriptive line

Teapot with cover in the form of a 'chinaman' clutching a parrot, white-glazed soft-paste porcelain, made by Chelsea Porcelain factory, London, 1745-1749

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Teapots are thought to have been developed from the shapes of Chinese wine pots, used to serve hot wine. This one has been modelled in the manner of Chinese porcelain figures and the actual shape of the teapot is almost entirely disguised. [27/03/2003]


Soft paste porcelain



Subjects depicted

Parrots; Men


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Ceramics Collection

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