ARTIST / MAKER: Charles Reily & George Storer (maker)
DATE: 1849 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with ivory insulators

An inscription on the base of this teapot indicates that it was presented by Queen Victoria to Sir William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) in June 1849. Bennett was a composer of the Romantic school. He was well known as a pianist and conductor, and was admired by his acclaimed contemporaries Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn. During the 1840s, Bennett was the director of the Philharmonic Society of London and taught at the Royal Academy of Music, where he had previously studied. In 1849 he formed the Bach Society and gave the last of his annual concerts, which he had organised since 1838 and from which he gained a wide patronage. This teapot was given to Bennett on the 23rd June 1849, during a dinner party he attended at Buckingham Palace. To honour Queen Victoria and her royal circle, Bennett played two pieces on the piano, performing with some of the most revered European musicians of his time. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were passionate about music and were both accomplished pianists. Bennet later received a knighthood from the Queen in 1871.