A late 18th century Staffordshire Molded (or Sprig Decorated) Stoneware Teapot w/ green enameled highlights and a swan finial, dating c. 1790, perhaps a bit earlier. The teapot is very light and delicate with a dry glaze and features 2 heart-shaped medallions, one titled “Sportive Innocence” showing a boy and a girl (holding a doll) with their dog, and the second “Mischievous Sport” sport showing a boy (most likely) frightening another child with a rather scary mask. The panels have impressed lettering with the titles and are surrounded by green enameled leaves and flowers. The base of the teapot, the spout and the lid have applied sprig flowers and leaves, and the lid has a wonderful sleeping swan finial and the edge is covered with molded flowers. There is, to say the least, a lot happening on this teapot. It is unmarked.
The teapot is approximately 7” tall and the handle to spout distance is 9 ½”. Condition for a piece of hollowware this old and delicate is Very Fine! The body only has some minor edge chipping around the spout and the sprig and molded decoration is crisp and the enameling complete. The finial on the lid is complete but there appears to have been a chunk that was broken out of the lid and re-attached: the break must have been clean and the pieces fit together perfectly with the only evidence of any repair being a faint hairline on the exterior of the lid starting at the front of the swan and curling to the edge. (The other side of the crack is impossible to distinguish). There is a fascinating sticker from a previous owner under the lid indicating that the price of the teapot was $2950!! A wonderful example of early English dry bodied Stoneware.