The Chinese Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) greatly admired the enamelled copper wares produced in France under the reign of Louis XIV and encouraged the production of painted enamels in China. This teapot has been decorated using champlevé enamels, a decorative technique which originated in France in the late 12th century. A pattern is created on the metal by carving cuts or troughs into the surface with a sharp tool. These troughs are filled with powdered glass, fired until the glass fuses to the metal surface, and polished with a stone once cool. The body and lid are decorated with lotus blossoms, while the handle, spout and finial are modelled as tree trunks with three auspicious animals.