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  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Whieldon, Thomas, born 1719 - died 1786 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, with sprigged decoration and stained lead glaze

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr Wallace Elliot

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 53a, case 1 []

Object Type
This is known as an apple teapot, as its form was loosely inspired by that fruit. Staffordshire teapots of the mid-18th century were usually small, being described in contemporary bills as 'one dish' or 'two dish' (meaning for one cup or two). This is probably a one-dish example.

Makers & Manufacturers
Apple and pear teapots are known to have been made by several Staffordshire potteries in the 1760s. An undated letter from the blockmaker and manufacturer William Greatbatch to Josiah Wedgwood casts some light on this: 'have sent you an apple tpt. Should be glad to know if you wou'd have leaves on the side the same as use to be'. On 21 January 1765 Greatbatch supplied Wedgwood with two of these teapots which, to judge from the fragments excavated at Greatbatch's pottery site at Fenton, probably did not have applied leaves on the body. Fragments have also been excavated on the site of Thomas Whieldon's pottery at Fenton (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) and at an unidentified site at Town Road, Hanley, Staffordshire.

Design & Designing
With the fashion for fruit and vegetable forms in the 1760s and 1770s - notably melon, cauliflower and pineapple - makers of teaware resorted to the humble and unexotic apple and pear as models for their tiny teapots. The quality of modelling differed widely between makers, and although the scale of this particular teapot is close to that of a large apple, the pot itself bears little resemblance to the fruit after which it was named.

Physical description

Teapot and cover of buff earthenware with applied decoration under a green-yellow-and brown with stained glaze. Lobed, fruit-shaped body, spreading to the base, indefinately coloured yellow, grey, and brown; twig handle and spout and handle to the lid, all coloured brown; on the body applied leaves coloured green.

Place of Origin

Staffordshire (possibly, made)


ca. 1760 (made)


Whieldon, Thomas, born 1719 - died 1786 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, with sprigged decoration and stained lead glaze


Height: 8 cm, Width: 14.3 cm including spout and handle, Depth: 9 cm

Object history note

London, C. Andrade, 1919. From the T. Boynton Collection. Formerly the Sir T.W. Holburne Collection. Formerly the William Edkins Collection.

Descriptive line

Teapot with cover, earthenware with sprigged decoration and stained lead glaze, possibly made in Staffordshire by Thomas Whieldon (1719-1786), ca. 1760

Labels and date

British Galleries:
By about 1740, 'twice-firing' was common practice in Staffordshire. The first firing was for the clay body and the second for the glaze. These developments enabled a greater variety of decorative effects by allowing oxide colouring to be used under the glaze. They marked the beginning of Staffordshire's bulk production of fine earthenwares. [27/03/2003]
Made in Staffordshire, about 1755
Lead-glazed earthenware with applied moulded reliefs

C.47-1938 Wallace Elliot Bequest, formerly in the William Edkins Collection. [23/05/2008]




Applied work; Glazed


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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