History Of The British Teapot And Why It Is An Ideal Gift


History Of The British Teapot And Why It Is An Ideal Gift

Very few things are as sacrosanct to the British as their afternoon tea. A plate of cucumber and watercress sandwiches, clotted cream, jams and scones complete the ritual. The ritual is genteel and elegant and steeped in tradition. Central to it is the majestic teapot. While we know that tea originated from China, the tea pot is a truly European design.

The first ones were quite heavy to carry and broke easily too. They were made of ceramic. The Chinese got in on the act with their porcelain pots which were better. The teapots were also gorgeous, delicate with their blue colors and intricate work. Pear-shaped, these pots featured straight, not curved spouts. The German designer Johan Bottger created what many consider to be Europe’s first porcelain. It had a luminous quality to it and made for more freedom in design, which became more creative and experimental.  Soon, the English too were incorporating all sorts of design elements from Rococo to Baroque.

Josiah Wedgewood’s name is forever connected to the earthenware he created which was hardy and attractive, as is Spode and Limoge. Not just porcelain, but silver also became a material of choice, making teapots highly expensive and upper-class. At the same time, tea, being a common man’s drink was accessible to them with less expensive teapot choices.

Nothing says British teapot more than the Brown Betty. Created in the 19th century, the teapot boasts of a deep brown glaze and the iron and manganese in it created streaks of color on the surface. Tall, stately and decorated in the Rockingham way(where it was created), the Brown Betty was soon to be seen in every household. Red clay teapots were also popular but not as accessible or inexpensive as Brown Betty.

The teapot is an ideal gift for many reasons.

We can start with the remarkable fact that for over five hundred years, the basic shape of the teapot has stayed the same. The pot, handle, spout and lid are repeated in every possible pattern.

Some patterns are classics and some reflect the changing times. For instance, oriental designs are still popular as are British scenes of the countryside, hunts and wildlife. Teapots bearing the coat of arms of families also continue to be popular. Today, you can find square teapots and those shaped like a postbox and a phone booth, even a double decker bus.

London pottery teapots designer David Birch creates experiences not equipment. Each piece found here has history and memories. A teapot thus is not a kitchen staple anymore but a conversation starter, a piece of decoration that creates interesting talking points.

There are many designs you can choose from but if you’re looking for a gift, you can’t go too wrong with the Farmhouse of the Globe. Both are traditional teapots and safe to use in the dishwasher. They are glazed stoneware and are easy to clean and use. Colors vary from vibrant greens, yellows and reds to simple greys and whites.

Choose from a range of designs and colors; serve capacities from 2 to 10 cups and take home a piece of timeless history.


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