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  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (made)

  • Date:

    1740-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Different coloured earthenwares (agate ware), with a lead glaze

  • Credit Line:

    Part of the Arthur James collection bequeathed by his wife

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52b, case 1 []

Object Type
Novelty Staffordshire teapots of the mid-18th century took many forms, of which the 'pectin' shell was one of most popular. The two halves of the shell produced an ideal size of teapot, and was made in salt-glazed stoneware as well as red earthenware.

Design & Designing
Moving on from early dependence on Chinese prototypes, the potters of Staffordshire embraced elements of the Rococo style. Exotic and sophisticated hollow forms such as pectin-shell teapots could be moulded very cheaply, the limiting factor being the necessity to hide the non-matching joints. This teapot perfectly demonstrates the potters' skill and design sense, partly concealing the mould-lines beneath the handle and spout and avoiding the use of a separate foot.

Materials & Making
The appearance of so-called 'agate' ware (veined pottery intended to resemble the hardstone) varied greatly, according to the whim of the potter or the needs of the object to be made. Tight multi-coloured or simple two-colour patterns could be formed by wedging coloured clays together, cutting and rolling them like pastry. The finished sheets of clay could only be press-moulded - even globular teapots were made in two hemispheres and joined around the middle. If thrown on the wheel, like some country pottery, 'agate' clay produced a muddy spiral effect.

Physical description


Place of Origin

Staffordshire (made)


1740-1760 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Different coloured earthenwares (agate ware), with a lead glaze


Height: 13 cm, Width: 16 cm including handle and spout, Depth: 9.5 cm

Object history note

Made in Staffordshire. Part of the Arthur James Collection bequeathed by his wife.

Descriptive line

Teapot and cover, earthenware of coloured blended clays (brown, blue and cream) covered with a clear lead glaze. England, Staffordshire, about 1740-1760

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The body of this teapot has been press-moulded in the shape of two large scallop shells. The marbled effect was produced by the blending of different clays to resemble agate stone. [27/03/2003]
Coffee pot and cover
Made in Staffordshire, about 1750-65
Lead-glazed 'agate' earthenware

73&A-1948 Part of the Arthur James Collection bequeathed by his wife [23/05/2008]


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Ceramics Collection

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