Many of us have enjoyed the Regency splendour of shows like Bridgerton with the elaborate tea settings in glorious palaces and stately homes lately. Together with popular shows, The Crown, Sanditon, Downtown Abby, or The Queen and Pride Prejudice have given rise to 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 been elevated to one of style, elegance, and trend.
The warmth of friendship is hidden in all elements of the design of the teapot. There is something comforting about the mere sight of a teapot, they are at once charming, cute, practical and elegant. Made in bone china, porcelain, stoneware, cast iron, glass, enamel, copper or my favourite silver; teapots come in a myriad of styles. to suit just how you like to serve Tea. Earthy tones, cutesy teaware or sleek eco minimalist designs, geometrics or brights, traditional, elegant or novelty, contemporary, vintage, antique, or practical. Teapots do not have to be expensive or elaborate, and can be whatever style makes you smile; quirky, fun, whimsical, elegant, delicate, heavy-duty, refined or plain and simple. For me, an elegant porcelain teapot and a delicate lipped china teacup is always a pleasing start to the day that I feel brings a taste of charm to modern living.
It is important that everyday things we use repeatably are not only well-designed and functional but also beautiful. Placing the emphasis in design on Aesthetics is something I’m passionate about. Whether we are decorating a room or an outdoor space, cooking and serving food for guests or choosing items for practical use in the home, if our choices are attractive 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.
Each morning as I make tea, I press on my gooseneck variable temperature kettle, and it just makes me happy. Similarly, if hundreds of other 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 irritate us.
Tea is all about comfort and whether you make tea for yourself to break the day into segments whilst working, or made for you by a loved one to warm you in the winter or refresh in the morning. Afternoon Tea or High Tea, a friend over for a chat or a Tea to console a friend; Tea is special. And made all the more spesh by using your favourite Teapot, teacup or mug.
It is an enchanting story of Teapot design with its origins in the early Sung Chinese dynasty 960-1279. Today, because Teapots are commonplace, we see them everywhere, and the simple elements of a teapot are timeless with different cultures across the world adding their own unique style to teapot design.
Contemporary Teapots are often based on traditional and historical teapots like the unglazed Yixing clay Teapots, Japanese teapots, or early Georgian silver teapots, and the classic English brown Betty. There is a fascinating, long history of Teapots that 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 teapot pictured above.
Teapot design needs to be both functional and pleasing to the eye. A Teapot should always have a comfortable handle, that one can lift easily and pour the boiling tea without difficulty. The spout should not drip nor should the lid come loose and be able to hold the heat of the water for as long as possible.
Teapots are so tempting with their many colours, designs, shapes and sizes. 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
Teapots are the most collected objects in the art and craft world so perhaps the popularity of tea may have something to do with the passion for collecting teapots. 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 for 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 Record 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