William Hackwood ran an enterprising earthenware pottery (1818-1853) in Staffordshire. This piece is unmarked, but the same spout exists on a black basalt teapot that is marked Hackwood, so they are from the same maker. Also, the applied leaves exactly match the leaves on other marked Hackwood pieces and the colors are the same. I wish I knew who designed this interesting teapot so I could commend him on his work. It may be that a single individual designer was responsible for the various unusual shapes that the Hackwood pottery produced. (Was the designer Hackwood himself? By the way, this was not the same William Hackwood who modeled for Wedgwood.) This pot is well-proportioned, nicely finished and has several unique features. One is that the steam hole is not in the lid but in a small tube that rises just outside the top rim next to the handle. I’ve never before seen this kind of arrangement on a ceramic teapot. And the spout doesn’t go halfways when it tries for the serpent-look. It doesn’t try to be a spout part of the way that ends up turning into a serpent head at the tip. No, it’s a long-necked scaly serpent neck all the way, and a very nicely modeled neck too, with scales that almost resemble feathers. There are patterns of engine-turning at the bottom edge, and the handle is a direct copy of a wooden handle that would be appropriate on a silver teapot, even to the extent of modeling fake brads like you would see holding a wood handle on. No sign of a mark, and the teapot is large, at seven and three-fourths inches high. It is a fine-grained jasper body, perhaps a precursor of parian porcelain, with appliqués in a very dark blue. The interior has a glossy glaze, and at several places on the outside surface there are small patches where glossy glaze settled there during the firing. It is in great condition except for a repair on the jaw of the serpent. The buff-colored body has some typical firing flaws but they don’t distract.
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