ARTIST / MAKER: Hester Bateman (maker)
DATE: 1786 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with wooden handle and finial

This silver teapot was made by Hester Bateman, the most renowned female silversmith of the 18th century. Known as a bachelor teapot, it would have contained the ideal amount of tea for just one person. On one side of the teapot is an engraving of the coat of arms of the United, Religious and Military Orders of the Temple and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, or the Knights Templar Freemasons. This was most likely added at a later date to add interest to the piece. A banner reading “Pour La Foy” (“for the Faith”), the motto of the Templars headquarters at the Great Priory of Scotland, is engraved beneath, suggesting that this teapot may have a masonic provenance. Hester Bateman learned the silversmith’s trade from her husband and after his death in 1760 she set up her own business. Her firm produced cheaper, domestic tablewares using a limited range of ornamentation for mostly middle-class customers.