Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tea & Books Saturday #3 - "Teapots"

By the Victoria and Albert Museum
Published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1955

This small picture book is one I purchased on eBay a few years ago because I had just purchased a vintage teapot similar to the one on the cover and wanted to know more about it. My knowledge of teapots is pretty much limited to knowing which ones in my personal collection are best for brewing tea. I aspire, however, to learn more about the various materials teapots are made of, and I'd love to be able to estimate the age of a teapot just by examining it.

The book reminded me of one particularly interesting bit of information I believe I'd read before, that "early Chinese vessels (and some later ones) that look like teapots were actually used for wine." This one circa 1662-1722, which the book notes is "shaped like a peach," is described as possibly being a wine pot since it had the "opening below." I do not actually see an opening other than the spout in this photo, so that's a bit of a mystery to me.

Since this is mainly a picture book, I thought I'd share another photo that impressed me, this one of a red stoneware Meissen teapot from about 1720. It was cut and polished on a glass-cutter's wheel!

Finally, here's the photo of the teapot which inspired me to get this book in the first place.

Here is the teapot I had purchased (a much less elaborate model, but you can see some similarity).

And finally, while reading this book and repeatedly looking at the cover, I realized I also have a tablecloth with a design which looks suspiciously like the cover of this book as well, especially with the feathers on each side! At least I know where the fabric designers were getting their inspiration ... or was it vice versa?


  1. That's a great one! Looks very useful.

  2. I'm enjoying your new 52 week tea book project, I'm looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for us!

    The book looks great, but I have to say, I think I like your teapot better than any of the other ones pictured, it's so pretty! And the tablecloth, divine!

  3. What an interesting book. I think the Meissen teapot is lovely.

  4. I love your tea & books series. I have not seen this book before. Now if I only had room for more tea books.

  5. That does look like a great little tea book. Thanks for sharing the photos of some lovely teapots.

    I hadn't heard about Chinese wine pots - very interesting. Thanks for sharing your Teapots book.

  6. That cover is so close to your items! No wonder you had to hve it. I am really enjoying the new Tea Book Saturdays

  7. I in IN LOVE with your pink tea pot! It is absolutely GORGEOUS!! :)


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