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Teapot

ca. 1760
Origin: England, Staffordshire
OH: 5 1/2"; OW: 4 7/16"; OL: 7 1/4"
Body: Stoneware, salt-glazed, white with blue and gilding; Lid: porcelain, soft-paste with blue
Purchase funded by Wesley and Elise H. Wright in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hofheimer II and in honor of John C. Austin
Acc. No. 2008-34,A&B
White salt-glazed stoneware teapot with so-called "Littler-Wedgwood blue" decoration. Globular teapot with a crabstock handle and spout, and three small lion face-and-paw feet. There are remnants of gilding on the feet. The lid is a soft-paste porcelain replacement.
Label:In 1765, Richard Champney of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, advertised a diverse selection of goods, including “An Assortment of blue Stone Ware” and the estate appraisal for Sarah Pye of Charles County, Maryland, listed “1 blue Stone Tea pott” valued at two shillings eight years later. While these records may well refer to scratch blue stoneware, there is also evidence suggesting the objects could have been examples of so-called Littler–Wedgwood blue, the uniformly-colored wares produced in Staffordshire between about 1750 and 1765. Unlike most salt-glazed stoneware, they have a glossy, rather than pitted, surface, and their rich blue color is evocative of lapis lazuli, a characteristic enhanced by the gilding that sometimes is present on extant wares.

Although little evidence suggests that Littler–Wedgwood blue stoneware was owned in America in large quantities, its presence here is confirmed by the archaeological record. In Williamsburg, the remains of a large jug and a flat-bottomed teapot have been recovered from Wetherburn’s Tavern. Fragments of a three-footed blue teapot and blue teacups were also found at the Hay site. When Anthony Hay’s estate was inventoried in 1771, it included “2 Large Coloured Stone Tea Pots” valued at one shilling, threepence.
Provenance:Simon Westman, London, England