Here is an absolute charmer! Every inch of this stunning teapot is molded with scrolls, anthemion shells, panels and stylized flowers, with a perky finial to top it off. It is unmarked, like most pearlware, but the style of decorative molding is related to teapots made from 1790 to 1805 by potters such as Elijah Mayer and (of course) Josiah Wedgwood. Whoever the unknown designer was, he was inspired! From every angle, this teapot impresses and delights. It has a narrow band of blue enamel with arrow designs around the top edge, with a red diaperwork design around the bottom edge. The solid red line at the midpoint is at several points overlaid by molded scroll tips. But it’s not the colored decoration that provides the major interest here; it’s the shape. It’s a perfect valentine. Even the lid is shaped like a valentine. The molded details match the teapot shown in plate 1163 of Berthoud and Miller’s “Anthology of British Teapots,” but the overall shape differs. The authors provide no attribution, but this teapot is almost certainly by the same maker. Sotheby’s described a teapot of the same shape (identical except for the decoration on the blue band) in 1990 as “probably Turner,” and cited Roussel’s book on Castleford. However the teapot they refer to does not have the same molded details. Condition of this appealing teapot is very nice: the finial has been neatly reattached (shown) and there are some very tiny repaired chips on the spout and one on the edge of the lid. There is an unrepaired small chip on the lid’s inside flange. The handle has original cracks that occurred during the firing in the kiln, which shouldn’t bother anyone. It is seven and a half inches from stem to stern and four and three-quarters inches high: small but wonderful! It is bright with no stains, so it has rarely—if ever—been used to hold tea. I think it was probably a lover’s romantic gift when it was originally sold, and it could be a lover’s gift again for the right buyer, on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year!

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Ceramics, Porcelain, Pottery
Classical Greek, Georgian, Grecian, Neoclassical
England • English

Laureate Antiques

Staffordshire Pearlware Heart-Shaped Valentine Teapot C.1795


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