Collecting Teapots and Tea Paraphernalia

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.

Cobalt blue Aladdin teapot.

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.

Yellow basket Hall China teapot

 

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.

Teapots, large

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.

Teapots, small

 

This is a picture of the inside of the metal “cozy” for the Forman teapot.

Forman cozy

 

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:

tea pot interior

 

The Forman Family pot (Hall China).

The forman interior

 

A Royal Worcester “Evesham” teapot interior:

Aladdin interior

 

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.

Glass tea pot with infuser Teapot lid detail

These two teapots are English. The one on the right is made by Arthur Wood.

 

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:

This teapot was given to me by my best friend several years ago. It depicts a motorhome, loaded with Basenjis both inside and out. I think it is very charming and will treasure it always.

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.

A German teapot made by Waechterbach.  SOLD!

The lid has a “catch” to keep it secure when the pot is titled to pour.

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.

TEAPOTS!10

 

TEAPOTS!2

TEAPOTS!3

 

TEAPOTS!6

TEAPOTS!5

TEAPOTS!4

TEAPOTS!7

TEAPOTS!8

Scan-140515-0001

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.

TEAPOTS!9

 

TEAPOTS!

 

 

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.

HPIM6369

HPIM6373

Streamline teapot

 

 

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.

Sadler Art Deco

 

A Sadler  “Chintz” decorated teapot from England.Sadler Chintz 1

Sadler Chintz 2

 

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.

TUSCAN:England

 

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.

Japan redware::

Japan redware::2

Japan teapot:red

Japan teapot:red1

Old Country Roses by Royal Albert – this 1998 teapot made in Indonesia.

Old Country Roses

 

A teapot with the “Cattail” pattern made by Universal Potteries

Cattail

 

A Hall China teapot made for the Lipton Tea company – often given as “premiums” for purchase of several boxes of tea.

Hall Lipton

Elgreave

HPIM6569

 

A Chinese red  Hall China Sani-Grid teapot.

Hall red sani-grid

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HPIM6573

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.

Hall:Forman

A small single serve teapot by Hall China for their “institutional” line – restaurant ware.

Hall Tea instutional:restaurant

A Hall China  Philadelphia teapot.

Hall Philadelphia

A Shenango teapot in the “Castle” pattern unusual teal color.

Shenango castle

 

 

A Sadler English teapot decorated with teapots!Teapot with teapots

A very small Redware teapot, no marks.Little redware unmarked

A Sadler English Teapot, teal and gold.Sadler Teal:gold

A Hall China “Murphy” teapot, in light blue, the most common color.Hall MURPHY

A fake “blue flo” – Blue Willow style teapot, rather crudely made and with fake “Victoria Ironstone” marks.

Fake blue ironstone1

 

Shawnee Teapot.  Made in USA.

Shawnee teapot 1

 

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.

Sad Sadler1

 

METAL TEA POTS

Group of metal teapots

A silverplate teapot made by E. G. Webster & Bro., late 19th century – a true antique. Needs polishing.  Has a couple of dents.

silplate tpot E.G.Webster&bro1

A rare Gorham copper teapot.

Gorham 3

Gorham #1

copper bottom closeup

 

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.

HPIM6666

HPIM6665

HPIM6667

HPIM6662

HPIM6663

HPIM6664

 

A Japanese Tetsubin, cast iron lined with porcelain.  Small – brews two of the small cups without handles that are traditional for Japanese teas.

HPIM6659

 

 

A pewter teapot, not vert kid, it was made in the 1980s, a copy of a late 1700s pot.

HPIM6656

HPIM6657

HPIM6658

 

A very modern “Aladdin-type” teapot.  SOLD!  Brightly polished stainless steel.

HPIM6668

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡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.

 

 

 

18 Responses to Collecting Teapots and Tea Paraphernalia

  1. Ceejay says:

    Your collection is exquisite Andi!
    It almost makes me wish I’d taken up my British heritage tradition of tea drinking instead of my snobbish coffee addiction!

    • asenjigal says:

      I do love tea and was raised in a tea-drinking family. The teapot collecting bug got me back in the late ’60s when someone gave me my first Hall China teapot. From then on I was hooked! I’m afraid I have also “infected” a few others who had no idea of the incredible variety of teapots. One only collects the little one-cup teapots – including the small Yixing teapots. She says she doesn’t have room for the full-size ones and these are just “so cute you could die!”

  2. Darienne says:

    Your adorable Basenji teapot…was it one of a kind made for you?

    • asenjigal says:

      I was told the woman who made them made a few but each one was finished by hand and the figurines were all slightly different so no two were exactly alike, so it is indeed, a one-of-a-kind teapot.

  3. sally says:

    Oh goodness I suddenly realize I am a teapot collector though I have never thought of myself as one. I have number including a large Betty Brown pot just like yours and a smaller one similar to the 3 cup pot with with colored rings – I think these must be quite common here in England though I will have to test mine out to see how many cups it takes. Your Cardew is totally “off the wall” and has triggered in me an urge to find a really special one… I saw a wonderful one that was a kind of upright ring a few months ago though it was well over my budget.

    • asenjigal says:

      It is surprising how easy it is to become a “collector” of teapots. Many people, who don’t even drink tea, often find them irresistible, particularly where they see them in movies. The sales of teapots, particularly the “chintzy” or flowered and “country” type went up significantly after the Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast” was released back in 1991. There was just something so warm and cuddly about the appearance of that particular roly poly style that people just had to buy them.
      I know at least two people who began collecting just because of that movie.
      Other movies and TV shows have had the same effect.
      People with whom I have discussed this particular collecting category often tell me that they never started out to collect them, it just sort of happened and before they knew it, they had teapots all over the place and had to find a way to display them.
      Sometimes it is like a “guilty secret” and the teapot is purchased in secret and hidden away because one or more family members can’t see the point of having so many of one particular item whey they aren’t being used.
      My collection is extremely modest, compared to many.
      There was a Teapot Collector’s Club – It does not appear to be currently active.

      My collection is rather eclectic, not confined to any one style or age or decoration. I buy what I like and of course people gift me with unusual ones.

      It’s fun and unless one goes for the truly rare, not very costly.

  4. marianne says:

    i have kept two special teapots that were my grandmothers. one is
    hall aladdin golden glo and it looks like that pretty blue one.

    the other one is haviland china – malmaison (older purple) pattern
    with a fishing scene painted on it.

    i just keep them as keepsakes but i am not a teapot collector. do you have any interest?

  5. asenjigal says:

    Hi Marianne,
    Thanks for asking but I am no longer adding to my collection. I have many more than those pictured and really have to begin trimming down the number I keep.
    It’s lovely that you have something so nice from your grandmother. Both are worth holding on to as they will only gain in value in the future.

  6. Dixie K. Blankley says:

    Your blog and your pictures are priceless. I stumbled upon your site while looking for an infuser for my Hall McCormick tea pot (which I don’t think I will ever find). Thanks so much for sharing your time and information with us.

    • asenjigal says:

      Don’t despair of finding the infuser. That same infuser also fit other teapots of the same basic shape and size – most were 6 cup, all infusers are white a very few had a gold stripe around the top edge when paired with the gold-decorated teapots.
      I have seen French, Philadelphia, Illinois(rare) and Albany teapots with infusers.
      The smaller round infusers that fit the Aladdins should also fit your teapot.
      I have purchased teapots with broken lids, chips and etc., to get an intact infuser. You have to keep checking on eBay and I also check Ruby Lane when I am hunting for something specific.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and the nice compliments.

  7. Ryan Bryce says:

    That is a wonderful collection there. Some of them are true works of art. I have a suggestion for you. Please start a teapot museum with the pieces you have. i am sure many of your readers will come up to donate their table heirlooms willingly if you give a prominent coverage to them. It will be a fantastic collection at one place.

  8. Cindy Mueller says:

    I am looking for the red waechtersbach tea pot….do you know where I can find one?

    Thank you,
    Cindy

  9. Rachelle says:

    I have a warm yellow Hall Lipton’s Tea teapot, and just recently, broke the lid. I am looking for a replacement lid for my teapot. Do you have one, or know where I can find one?
    Thanks,
    Shelly

    • asenjigal says:

      Hi Rachelle,
      I don’t have any extra lids. Have you tried the Hall China Collectors page? It’s now on Facebook, but if you click on this link you can get to the contact page and at the top there is also an email link, if you aren’t on Facebook, and you can send an email with your query.
      I would also check ebay, ebid and Ruby Lane – I was successful in finding an infuser from a Ruby Lane vendor who had several Hall China items on offer, I sent an inquiry about another item with a question about an infuser and the vendor had one but not listed.
      I can say that the Yellow Lipton’s teapot is one of the less common colors.
      I hope you are successful in finding a new lid.
      Andie

  10. kristinek says:

    I have a teapot set I’m saling please contact me for pictures thanks

    • asenjigal says:

      Sorry, I don’t understand your comment. This is all my own stuff. I don’t post photos of things belonging to others and I am not buying.
      In fact I am selling a lot of my collected items on ebay because at my age it is time to get rid of a lot of this stuff that I have had for 40+ years.

  11. Roxane says:

    Wonderful site! I found you while investigating information about my favorite antique teapot that I use every day. It has a snug metallic tea cozy like one you pictured here. Only the woven lining on mine is (or was) white, not grey charcoal-colored. (It has a lot of brown, but I think those are stains.) I’m interested in knowing what the woven material is. My concern is that it could be asbestos, and I should get rid of it. Your thoughts? Thank you. Chicago

    • asenjigal says:

      Hi Roxane,
      If the teapot is made by HALL CHINA or is identified as a “Lipton” teapot, the lining is wool felt.
      There were some teapots made in England that incorporated the metal “cozy” with a lining, which I also believe is wool. I no longer have one but the one I did have definitely was wool.
      I’m not sure asbestos would have been used because it is mildly abrasive and would have damaged the surface of the porcelain or china.
      I have seen ceramic insulators for electrical purposes that had asbestos wrapped around them and they are heavily abraded by it, as are glass insulators that used the same stuff to “cushion” the wires that were wrapped around them.

      I hope this helps. The only other advice I can offer is to find a small appliance repair place (sometimes technicians in vacuum and sewing machine repair places) and show them the pot because most do know how to recognize asbestos – at least the ones around here do.

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