We are very grateful to a Norwegian reader of this blog, Pal Furuberg, who has kindly sent photographs of a ‘tigerish’, striped teapot that he bought at a a flea market at a children’s school in the outskirts of Oslo. A friend had told him about Manchester Museum’s ‘smashing pot’ with similar ‘tigerish’, striped transfer pattern, which looks very much like the one Pal, or Paul, bought.
Pal writes to say that the pewter lid may not be original. There is no mark or stamp, and he cannot tell for sure whether it is Georgian or Victorian, but it is most probably English he says.
Well, we might be able to set Pal’s mind at rest. I sent a photo of our teapot to the Ceramics and Glass Collection enquiry service at the Victoria and Albert Museum. One of the curators there, Rebecca Wallis, replied and told me that “From the images the teapot looks to date from the second quarter of the 19th century, underglaze brown transfer-printed decoration imitating woodgrain. The pot was probably made in Staffordshire.”
Unfortunately they don’t have a comparable example in the V&A collections so Rebecca suggested contacting the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery to see what they have.
Paul writes that his teapot is a bit discoloured, has an old reparation on the handle, and has cracks that makes it un-useful as a teapot, but he like its and thinks it looks good. I say good for you Pal. I only wish my trips to the car boot sale and flea market were as successful as yours!
I am constantly amazed by the power of crowd-sourcing to answer some of the questions about mysterious objects that we are faced with as curators. The coincidence of showing the Manchester teapot on the blog and Pal buying his teapot with the same design about the same time and sending us details is fantastic.
Thanks to Pal for allowing us to reproduce his photos and to Rebecca for identifying the teapot. Pity about the woodgrain though, I quite liked calling it the Manchester tigerish teapot.
Now all we need is for a reader to send in a reply to my appeal about the so-called brothel token with an erotic scene… I mean, have you any idea how many visitors we’ve had to the Ancient Worlds blog since that was posted?