Teapot Made in China Ceramic Stoneware Bird Tea Pot

This fake is not an old pottery teapot, but a new piece recently imported from overseas. It was made to closely resemble authentic antique oriental figural vessels. Different types of figural pottery have been sold for a number of years in retail stores that specialize in everything from antique reproductions to interior design. They do give buyers the 'look' of a collection of antique pottery on the shelf, without the expense. Fine enough for that purpose, but not at all right when afterward found for sale represented as something they are not.

The spout on this item is the beak and the handle is part of the tail feathers. This whimsical bird with its bright red beak, yellow chest, blue feathers and comical expression would certainly appeal to young collectors. Perhaps to offer tea to Teddy Bear at a private tea party. But, notice the warning stamped in bright yellow paint on the bottom, "For Decorative Purpose Only. Not for food use. May Poison Food." Lead is used to help reproduce the look of old pottery with surface glazes crackled with age.

Even if properly represented to be newer this is not an item one would want to purchase for table use due to the danger of lead leaching into liquids placed within it. Items like this can pose a health risk to the consumer (or Teddy Bear) if ever actually used to serve tea. Even handling it with regularity with bare hands might not be a good idea. But examine the base of this piece and it becomes clear the labeling was applied in such a way as to make it very easy to remove all evidence of its very recent manufacture. To leave behind a surface that could be mistaken by the novice as old.

In 2004 the periodical Antique Collector and Reproduction News printed an article to specially warn collectors about the many new and fake lead glazed pieces being imported from China. While labels warning buyers of the danger remain affixed there is little fear they would actually use such an item at the table. But while new items with poorly applied lead based glazes may be properly represented to their first buyer as `only for decoration,' those who buy the same set later at a yard sale or country auction may never know a warning was once present.

Becoming familiar with the look and feel of these types of new lead-glazed fakes and reproductions can be important. Even if using a faux antique item to serve tea isn't the original reason for its purchase.

Measures approximately 5 inches high and 8 1/4 inches across the top.

Item ID: 2007RP000336

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies

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