Here is a huge teapot, and I do mean huge. Usually the largest teapots of this type are only about twelve inches tall, but this one is over fourteen and a half inches tall (37 centimeters), certainly unusual and among the largest ever made. It is treacle glazed (as the British say) in a rich chocolate brown that reminds me of Rockingham. It was expertly turned by hand on the potter’s wheel and holds nearly a gallon and a half of liquid (!), so if it was ever filled it would have been almost impossible to lift. (How many tea leaves does it take to make a gallon and a half?) Each side is virtually identical, with the same numerous sprigged birds, banners, medallions, vases, leaves, baskets and flowers in complementary colors—it has many more appliqués than usually found. Inscribed on the banners on both sides is the name “Mr. Lambley,” the man for whom it was made, and we do hope he appreciated its unique size. Measham pottery (often called bargeware) was not made in Measham, a town in Leicestershire, but in nearby Church Gresley, primarily by Mason, Cash & Company, and the appliqués on this unmarked piece suggest strongly that Mason made this example. Such wares, personalized as birthday or wedding gifts or as tributes, were sold by Mrs. Ann Bonas in a shop on the main street of Measham. The shop was near the Ashby Canal, so passing barge operators could order a personalized gift and collect it on their next trip through Measham, then deliver it on down the line so that it would reach the recipient. I suppose barge operators were the UPS drivers of the time. Somehow the name bargeware was connected with these pieces of pottery, which were made up until about 1910. Not all these teapots had the appealing small teapot finial on the cover, as on this piece—an amusing touch. Condition for this immense teapot is very good. Several in-the-making chips (they happened during the firing in the kiln) have been repainted on the base, a crack at the bottom of the handle has been repaired, and the teapot finial has also been repaired. The spout may also have some repair, but nothing shows under black light. The ring of beads at the top of the pot has some damage inside where the lid has hit against it, not visible from the outside. This teapot is a real showpiece, as large as they come. It will be a standout in your collection. In fact, it might dwarf the rest of your collection.
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