A very attractive 19th century teapot, in the soft grey-green stoneware sometimes called "drabware". The pear-shaped body is encircled by a molded band of grapes and vine leaves, repeated on the cover. Exterior smear-glazed, interior high gloss. The finial is in the form of a seated, draped female figure, called a "Sybil" or "Widow" finial, also known as the "Widow of Zarephath" from the Biblical story of Elijah. This design was originally produced by Wedgwood, but is known to have been copied by other Staffordshire makers, including Dudson and Mayer. Since this piece is unmarked, it is almost certainly one of those copies, produced in either the 1800-1850 period, or in the 1880's-90's when the neoclassical taste was again in vogue.
Regardless of the origin, it is delicately molded with crisp detailing attesting to the high skill of the 19th century English potters.
Dimensions: 6.25" height to top of finial, body 4.5" in diameter, total width 6.5" including spout and handle.
Condition: near mint; the only flaws are a couple of minute nicks or gaps in the glaze on the inner rim of the cover, which may be stilt marks from the kiln (see photo 8) There is a slub of clay under the glaze, from the manufacture, just below the grapevine border and left of center, visible in photos 1 and 3. Otherwise no cracks, flakes, stains, or repairs.