Many of us have enjoyed the Regency splendour of shows like Bridgerton with the elaborate tea settings in glorious palaces and stately homes. With popular shows like The Crown, Sanditon, Downtown Abbey, The Queen and Pride Prejudice have increased interest in many of our everyday objects; tea sets, vintage delicate china cups, saucers, and teapots. The humble teapot that was once ubiquitous on every kitchen table for breakfast each morning has now been elevated to one of style, elegance, and trend or perhaps it always was?
The warmth of friendship is hidden in the design elements of the teapot. There is something comforting about them; they are charming, cute, and practical, yet elegant. Made in bone china, porcelain, stoneware, cast iron, glass, enamel, copper, or my favourite, silver, teapots come in a myriad of styles to o suit just how you like to serve Tea. Millions of people throughout history have been and are demanding and fussy in their tea-drinking habits as I am. Ardent tea drinkers abound in the modern contemporary world of art, music, film and literature. Who would have thought that Mick Jagger, Russell Crowe, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kevin Spacey, Madonna, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss, amongst many others, would all have a common interest and passion for Tea?
Teapots are not always expensive or elaborate but come in every style to suit your taste; quirky, fun, whimsical, elegant, delicate, heavy-duty, refined or plain and simple. Consider cutesy teaware or sleek eco-minimalist designs, geometrics or brights, traditional, elegant or novelty, contemporary, vintage, antique, or practical enamelware. A sleek porcelain teapot and delicate-lipped china teacups are always an excellent start to the day that brings charm to modern living.
Our everyday objects should be well-designed, functional and beautiful, with an emphasis on aesthetics as a priority. Whether we are decorating, cooking or entertaining guests, our choices for practical items in the home should be attractive because they will make us feel better, uplift the soul and ultimately make us happier. Donald Norman, a clinical psychologist and designer, states in his book Emotional Design: Why We Love ( or Hate) Everyday Things
This quote by the famous 19th-century socialist, designer and craftsman Willaim Morris is a gem in this regard and a great maxim to live by.
The essence of this motto is one worth trying – if it does not make you happy, give it away (one person’s trash is said to be another person’s treasure) and you will feel wonderful to free yourself from feelings or emotions that arise from things you dislike or do not make you feel uplifted.
If our everyday objects are well designed, balanced, and have a smooth tactile feel, they can make a world of difference to our experience. In a pleasing environment, we are much more likely to handle stress or problems than in spaces filled with things we do not like that create negative thoughts or irritation. These objects we use every day do not have to be perfect it is more about how they make you feel.
Teapot design has an enchanting story with its origins in the early Sung Chinese dynasty 960-1279. Teapots are commonplace, we see them everywhere, and the simple elements of a teapot are timeless within different cultures across the world that add to their unique style.
Contemporary Teapots are often based on traditional and historical teapots like the unglazed Yixing clay Teapots, Japanese teapots, early Georgian silver teapots, and the classic English Brown Betty. The long history of Teapots spans the class systems of China, Japan, The Middle East, the USA and Europe but more on that another day. Modern designers continue to make sensational, beautifully designed and functional teapots, such as Eva Solo, George Jensen, Moda, Bodum, Stelton, and Limoges. Rosenthal still makes replicas of the Walter Gropius Bauhaus design teapots.
Teapots with their many colours, designs, shapes and sizes are tempting. They are at once charming and homely conjuring up fireside evenings and vintage old-fashioned farmhouse settings. A teapot heralds a chance to enjoy Tea with a friend as you share confidence or as comfort and solace to someone in distress. On the other hand, a teapot can be sophisticated, elegant, regal and ornamented enlivening a feeling of belonging in a stately English Manor as described in the following quotes
Every time I drink hot tea I suddenly feel very sophisticated and I subconsciously begin to gravitate toward a British accent.
Teapots are the most collected objects in the art and craft movement. In Leura NSW Australia, there is a tea shop called Bygone Beauties with a collection of 6,000 Teapots.
In the USA state of Tennessee, the Trenton Teapot Museum houses the World’s Largest Collection of Porcelain Veilleuses-Theieres, an ornate type of teapot often called a night-light teapot. The teapots on display date from 1750 to 1860.
The most extensive collection of teapots belongs to Tang Yu in China – 30,000 different teapots dating from the Song Dynasty to 1955.
And in Yalding, Kent, UK, there is a museum called The Teapot Island. The collection began when the owner was gifted a teapot by her grandmother in 1983. It is home now to 8,200 teapots including a 3-metre tall teapot imported from Germany in 2004, used as a Wishing Well to raise funds for Kent Air Ambulance plus a staggering 2,000 teapots for sale.
Also, in the UK, a collection of 1,700 Teawares dating from the Song Dynasty to today, including tea sets and tea caddies by Fabergé and a teapot once owned by Admiral Lord Nelson, a teapot gifted by Winston Churchill to his daughter. This collection is The Chitra Collection, the world’s most extensive private collection of teawares, including “The Egoist”, awarded the World’s Most Valuable Teapot by the Guinness Book of World Records estimated at 3 million. The teapot is covered in precious stones – diamonds and rubies and the handle has been crafted with mammoth ivory.
Content Di Baker 2021 and Images as cited
Original Artworks are artists from The Daily Paintworks- TDP
The header image on Theteapotsite.com is by
Diane McClary – Roses and Tea