Here is a very handsome and interesting teapot, decorated with the French sprig pattern that was used by nearly every 18th-century porcelain maker. However, only a small number of porcelain wares with this type of mark (the letter A plus a low pattern number) are known and it’s been hard for researchers to get a handle on who made them. Mr. Berthoud some years ago suggested that all these pieces were made at the Derby factory, but were decorated outside the factory, and most now agree with him. My reference book on Pinxton porcelain by Mr. Sheppard illustrates this A mark (but with pattern 22). He suggests that the mark is for Pinxton porcelain, and also decorated outside that factory. Of course, both factories hail from Derbyshire and made very similar shapes, so “an independent decorator in Derbyshire” is perhaps as close as we can get to the decorator for the present. It's quite possible that one of the Derby workers took some blank porcelain home and used a small kiln to decorate and sell pieces on his own. This teapot has a couple of minute chips on the spout, and the gilt line around the upper rim is well worn. The lid has a hairline. I removed the 19th-century pewter staples that were holding the original ring handle on and glued it back very neatly with modern epoxy and no loss. Also there is one repaired edge chip to the lid. The teapot is nine and one-quarter inches long.
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