Pair of teapots

DATE: 1720-1730 (made)
PLACE: Delft (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Tin-glazed earthenware painted in enamels (delftware)

These blue and white teapots brilliantly imitate the fashionable Chinese export porcelain that was imported in large quantities to the Netherlands at the beginning of the 18th century. In Delft, the city where these pieces were made, blue and white porcelain in imitation of Chinese prototypes were produced on a large scale. This is known as delft-ware. Each teapot is of fluted spherical shape with a flattened oval cartouche on either side, depicting a singing bird perched on a rock amidst flowering plants and ribboned Chinese symbols. The covers are surmounted by finials shaped as guardian lions or ‘Foo Dogs’, statues that traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces.