It's unusual to find any 18th-century teapot in such splendid condition, and when it is one of the hard to identify pieces from the Keeling factory, you have a doubly interesting item. If you collect Keeling wares, make this the centerpiece of your collection. If you don't, you can just enjoy the photos. The decoration is fresh, with hardly any wear. This same pattern and shape, but with differing decoration on the spout, is illustrated in Berthoud's book, “Anthology of British Teapots,” page 181. The pattern number on the bottom is 260, with decoration in gold and pink swags and flowers. Dates right around 1800. As you check the photos, you will be as amazed as I am that this teapot has survived in such pristine condition. I will mention only slight gilding wear to the very tip of the finial and one speck of gilding missing from the shoulder. Otherwise, this looks factory-new, including slight peppering on the shoulder from the firing process. Keeling and several other factories made hard paste porcelains toward the turn of the century, usually in direct imitation of the very successful New Hall wares. The wares from these factories were identified before the makers were, so for a time they were known simply as Factory X, Factory Y and Factory Z. Factory X has now been identified as Keeling. Their pieces are hardly ever marked, but they can be identified by the pattern numbers, when they are present. It would take you many years to find another 200-year-old teapot in this fine a condition.
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