This is a beautiful 19th century American pottery teapot, with the type of pottery classified as yellow ware. The age is circa 1880.
The teapot is unmarked. However you can view a similar teapot in the “Collector’s Guide to Yellow Ware, Book II” by Lisa S. McAllister, page 31. The author writes that several American potteries made a teapot with this type of mold, and that the pots with a blue glaze are of higher scarcity.
The pot is 9” high to the top of the handle, 7 ¾” long from spout-to-end, and 6” wide.
Around the top are sea shells in molded relief, with a scroll-like design above the shells.
The handle is a thick sturdy metal wire, going up to meet the ends of a carved wood handle, and screwed into the ends of the wood. The wire has a mechanism that protrudes out above the lid to keep the lid on when pouring the tea. At both ends of the mouth there is a vertical tab in the blank, with a hole drilled through each tab. The wire of the handle is inserted through the drilled holes. The entire handle is an interesting mechanism and must have a patent on record somewhere. It has to be the best antique wire handle mechanism I’ve ever seen.
The glaze is in beautiful colors. The artist swirled the brush strokes in vertical bars around the body of the teapot, to encourage the impression of sea shells. The colors are in shades of deep blue, and lighter blue mixed with cream or light brown, so as to allow the natural color of the pottery to be part of the glaze. The colors on the lid and spout are darker and mostly in shades of blue.
If you look at the inside of the pot, the underside of the lid, and the underside of the pot, you can recognize the type of faience used, which is a type of earthen ware pottery, and in this instance the color is yellow.
Here are the flaws, and flaws are to be expected. The author of the book I cited states that the old pieces of American pottery will have flaws due to age, and the flaws due not reduce value due to rarity. You can refer to the book to read her statement in the Introduction. The tip of the spout has some chipping, and I show the damage in a close up photo. The bottom of the pot has age lines in the pottery, one side only, and I point at the lines with red arrows in another photo. The inside rim of the mouth, the part of the mouth that is hidden by the lid, has nicks, small chips and rough spots; these small flaws are hidden under the lid. The glaze is crazed on all sides, which is normal for 19th century pottery and to be expected. There are some small spots of wear to the varnish on the wood handle. There are a few small flecks of wear to the glaze. The teapot is in remarkably good condition for its age and the type of piece it is. There are no repairs or restorations.
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