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  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lead-glazed earthenware, with applied decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr Wallace Elliot

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52b, case 1 []

Object Type
Small cheap earthenware teapots were made by many Staffordshire potteries in the mid-18th century. These were often globular, with an applied crabstock (branch-shaped) handle and spout, and decorated in some simple technique to make them more attractive.

Materials & Making
Until the 1760s when cream-coloured earthenware was perfected by Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), the plain lead-glazed earthenwares produced by Staffordshire potters required some form of decoration to enliven the rather drab material. For teapots, every possible permutation was attempted: tortoiseshell decoration, white body with dark applied decoration, black body with applied and gilded decoration, black body with white decoration (as here), and many others. Matching cream jugs, sugar bowls and cups and saucers were also produced.

Retailers & Trading
Such teapots were commonly available in so-called 'Staffordshire Warehouses' in most major towns in Britain, to supply a fast-growing number of tea drinkers with social pretensions but little money. The cost of a Staffordshire teapot in the mid-18th century was generally about one shilling (approximately one or two days wages for the ordinary person).

Physical description

Teapot and cover of dark brown earthenware. Globular body, with white crabstock handle, spout and loop handle on the lid. Decorated in applied relief with vine-leaves and grapes with winding stems, under a pale yellow glaze slightly stained with purple from manganese in the body.

Place of Origin

Staffordshire (made)


ca. 1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Lead-glazed earthenware, with applied decoration


Height: 12.1 cm, Width: 19 cm approx., including spout, Diameter: 12.7 cm body

Object history note

London, Sothyby's, 13/11/1930. From the John Henry Taylor Collection. Formerly the Bryan T. Harland Collection.

Descriptive line

Teapot with cover, lead-glazed earthenware, with applied decoration in relief, made in Staffordshire, England, about 1750.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The vine leaf and grape decoration on this teapot is a reminder that the first teapots imported from China were probably made for serving hot wine and not tea. [27/03/2003]


Earthenware; Lead glaze


Applied work

Subjects depicted

Vine scrolls


Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Ceramics Collection

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