Teapot

ARTIST / MAKER: Unknown
DATE: 1723-1740 (made)
PLACE: China (made)
Europe (painted)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in underglaze and overglaze enamels, gilt
COLLECTION NUMBER: 162

As tea-drinking became fashionable in Europe from the latter half of the 17th century, vast amounts of porcelain teawares were exported to the West from China and Japan. This teapot is an example of blue-and-white Chinese export porcelain decorated in the ‘pencilled’ technique which has been overpainted in enamels and gilt upon its arrival in Europe. European scenes were often added to make ceramics more appealing, a practice later known as ‘clobbering’. Over-decorating first appeared in Holland ca.1720 and continued in Britain well into the 19th century. The distinctive, coloured decoration often clashed with the original Chinese design which led to the style’s derogatory name, as Victorian scholars regarded the garish over-decoration as a total disregard for the original Chinese blue-and-white designs.