Teapots! I have a lot of teapots. More than I can easily count because many are packed away in boxes, in the back of cupboards and in other places that I can’t always recall. As with other things, I have been collecting teapots for a very long time. I lost a few many years ago in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake and lost a few more in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. One of my favorites, a copper teapot with rosewood handle, made by Gorham, suffered a minor injury (dent) in the 1994 event. It’s still pretty but no longer “perfect.” Interestingly, Gorham made a lot of silver teapots but not many in copper. I do love this one. In later years I have tried, with some exceptions, to limit my collecting to those teapots that have a “built-in” strainer or those that come with a removable “basket” or infuser. Almost all of my older teapots have perforations in the body of the teapot where the spout is attached. In the 1980s I began to see teapots made here in the U.S. and also made in England, that did not have this desirable (to me) addition. I’m sure they were more expensive to make, requiring more labor, so that was probably a factor. My favorite U.S. teapot manufacturer is without doubt the Hall China Company. They produced an enormous number of teapots in a staggering array of shapes and sizes. Some were made for other companies, such as McCormick Tea, Lipton Tea and for the Jewel Tea Company (the iconic Autumn Leaves design. The company had a long association with Sears Roebuck for the entire line of Hall China products, including the teapots and many are marked so on the bottom. Another long association was with The Forman Family, Inc., which made metal serving dishes and utensils and formed an association with Hall China for teapots to which they applied a metal cozy, lined with felt to retain heat in the teapot. These are much prized by collectors. There are a lot of Hall China collectors and when items appear on auction sites, the bidding is often brisk! Some Hall items are misidentified. A covered water server, that does look rather like a teapot, is often offered as a “rare” teapot but that just isn’t so. Hall made those for Westinghouse to be sold with their refrigerators as they were made to fit in a specific space and thus the long, brick-like shape. One of the most famous shapes was the “Aladdin” teapot that came in a couple of slightly different shapes – some were “wide-bodied” some had longer spouts. It was offered in a wide range of colors. This is the cobalt blue. This one has the oval opening. Others have a round opening and a ceramic infuser.
This Hall China teapot is the “flower basket” shape. This is the yellow. The most common is a “turquoise” that is actually a teal color and is often a matte finish.
This photo is of five English teapots. The large “Brown Betty” in the back is a large 10-cup pot, holds 60 ounces with room to spare. The white and blue on on the right is a 6-cup porcelain as is the one with the yellow flowers on the left. The stoneware teapot that has a gray ground with blue and green decoration holds 4 cups and the little brown pot with colored rings is an odd size – 3 cups (holds 20 ounces of water). I don’t think I have another 3-cup ceramic pot in my collection. I do have a couple of metal teapots that hold 3 cups.
Here’s a photo of several of my regular sized teapots, including a Forman in the upper right corner, a McCormick in the left center front, a Hall China Philadelphia teapot in cobalt blue with gold. And also there is the Gorham copper teapot, front and center.
And here is a photo of some small and very small teapots, including two Yixing pots and a single serve McCormick teapot in the upper right corner.
This is a picture of the inside of the metal “cozy” for the Forman teapot.
Here are some photos of the interior walls of teapots with the integral strainer to keep the leaves in the pot. These became rarer with the advent of the tea bag. In recent year many people have discovered that whole leaf teas produce much more flavor and a wide range of flavors, and so teapots with infusers have returned to the market. The Gorham:
However, as is so often said, “They don’t make them like that anymore!” This is an unusual glass teapot with its own infuser that hangs from a chain. The finial on the lid handle has little “teeth” that catch the chain when the infuser is pulled up out of the water. A very clever design. The teapot has no identifying marks either on the glass or on the metal parts. The glass handle is similar to one on a very early Pyrex tea “kettle” but as Pyrex marked everything, I do not think it is attributable to that company. Another collector suggested it might be of English manufacture, but I have no proof until I find a photo reference.
Purely “Collectible” Teapots”
These are teapots that were never designed to be used. They are functional, have all the parts of a teapot, but they are purely decorative and most are limited editions, made for only a brief period and in small numbers. This “Through The Ages Stall” teapot, made by Cardew is signed and is No. 794 of 5000 produced in July, 1999. The detail on the tiny teapots is simply amazing. They mimic the different types, as “advertised” on the stall, “Earthenware – Stoneware – Bone China – Porcelain.” Here’s a 360 degree tour of the teapot.
The Basenji Express Teapot:
The Dragon Teapot
I got this teapot for Christmas 1990. The Dragon is cute and the Wizard is even cuter. I think this might be a lady dragon.
May 14, 2014
Got some of my teapots out of storage today. These were carefully wrapped and boxed up in 1999 and have been virtually inaccessible since because of a bunch of heavy items in front of the shelves on which the boxes were stored. Today those big items were hauled away (donated to Grace resource center) and I had free access to see what has been hidden for fifteen years. I know there are more, but it was quite warm and I wasn’t able to spend longer digging through boxes. Most of the teapots are Hall China. One is an H. J. Wood, Burslem, England – the underglaze mark is very difficult to see without scanning so the reflections are screened out.
This is the “Twinspout Teamaster” made by Hall China for the Teamaster company.
The teapot has two chambers, one for tea and one for hot water to “adjust” the strength of the tea. Some models were named “Adjusto” and some had two “lugs” on each side so the pots could be placed in a wire rack to make tipping to pour easier.
This is the Hall China “Star” teapot. Often seen with gold decoration with small stars spaced evenly all over the body. This one happens to be plain.
Some of these teapots have been packed away for nearly fifteen years and a few even longer. Most are “vintage” and a few are newer.
A Sadler teapot with typical Art Deco design popular in the 1930s.
TUSCAN – “DEVON” Fine Bone China, Made in England between 1936 and 1947. Daisy flowers varigated blue with yellow centers. Hand painted on a stippled background and decorated with gold trim.
Two Japanese “Redware” teapots, different shapes and styles. These were very popular in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. Sold at Woolworth’s and other “Five and Dime” stores.
Old Country Roses by Royal Albert – this 1998 teapot made in Indonesia.
A teapot with the “Cattail” pattern made by Universal Potteries
A Hall China teapot made for the Lipton Tea company – often given as “premiums” for purchase of several boxes of tea.
A Chinese red Hall China Sani-Grid teapot.
A Forman Family teapot with metal “cozy” teapot made by Hall China. The ceramic finial indicates an early piece, the later ones had metal finials. This one purchased new in 1940.
A small single serve teapot by Hall China for their “institutional” line – restaurant ware.
A Hall China Philadelphia teapot.
A Shenango teapot in the “Castle” pattern unusual teal color.
A fake “blue flo” – Blue Willow style teapot, rather crudely made and with fake “Victoria Ironstone” marks.
Shawnee Teapot. Made in USA.
And lastly, another Sadler, this one the “Sad Sadler” with it’s handle broken. A lovely teapot that survived for decades only to suffer a major injury now. Pretty Blue Willow decoration.
METAL TEA POTS
A silverplate teapot made by E. G. Webster & Bro., late 19th century – a true antique. Needs polishing. Has a couple of dents.
A rare Gorham copper teapot. Made in 1881.
Aluminum teapots made in England.
These were usually made with “built-in” strainers between the body and the spout. Very easy to use for folks new to using loose tea leaves.
A Japanese Tetsubin, cast iron lined with porcelain. Small – brews two of the small cups without handles that are traditional for Japanese teas.
A pewter teapot, not very old, it was made in the 1980s, a copy of a late 1700s pot.
A very modern “Aladdin-type” teapot. SOLD! Brightly polished stainless steel.
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡If you want to buy tea online, one of my favorite vendors is: The Republic of Tea They offer a staggering array of teas and some lovely tea accessories. I have some special favorite teas that are simply not available elsewhere – my all time favorite is the Blackberry Sage, closely followed by the Mango Ceylon. Other faves are the Comfort and Joy and the Cranberry Blood Orange. For after dinner drinking, the Double Dark Chocolate Mate or for those who need a caffeine-free drink, the Red Velvet Chocolate Herbal Tea which are also nice for those on a diet who have to skip dessert. These are dessert and drink in one. Harney & Sons, Master Tea Blenders is one of the most respected tea vendors in the world. They have some unique blends and many extraordinary tea-related items that simply must be seen to be believed. They offer generous samples of many of their teas at a very affordable price – listings state the samples are enough to brew 3 – 4 cups of tea but I have found they can brew nearly twice that amount. Another is Adagio Teas I especially recommend the Adagio tea brewers – The IngenuiTea which is either a 16 ounce or a 32 ounce (called the “Iced” IngenuiTea. I have two of the latter and use them for brewing tea for two or more people and after the tea has brewed, set the IngenuiTea on top of a teapot into which it is dispensed by the very clever filter system. I can then put the teapot over a warmer to keep the tea at serving temp without stewing the leaves. I also love that you can order your own blend of teas and try the “Custom” blends put together by others. I have tried many of these, especially the holiday blends, and have yet to be disappointed. I have ordered some multiple times. Just reading the titles is fun. Zhena’s Gypsy Tea is a company in Ojai, California that offers Fair Trade Organic teas both loose and in “sachets” and they are excellent teas. I like that they support Fair Trade tea producers as that is important in today’s world where the multinational companies are crowding out most small producers. Other tea vendors: These are all tea vendors from whom I have ordered teas and tea accoutrements or accessories. I have received superior service from every one. Amanzi tea Has premium teas in tea bags. Simpson & Vail, Inc. SerendipiTea Annie’s Tea Time has lovely tea pots, tea cozys and some interesting and unusual tea accessories. The collection of fitted tea cozys, both cloth and knitted, is the largest and most diverse I have found. Holy Mountain Trading Company Tiger Mt. Tea Co. Ann Marie’s Fine Coffee & Tea Golden Moon Tea The British Shoppe Fortnum & Mason Rishi Tea Shan Shui Teas Whittard of Chelsea – in the UK Todd & Holland Tea Merchants Teavana/Special Teas Jaya Tea Tea Time Garden *********************************************************************************************************************************************************** For TEA lovers there is a wonderful email discussion group that can help you find information about anything related to tea. Teamail “Where tea lovers meet for tea and talk.” There is also The Tea Muse Which has some very interesting topics for tea lovers.