ARTIST / MAKER: Chelsea porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca.1752-1755 (made)
PLACE: Chelsea (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Soft-paste porcelain painted in enamels

This teapot was made at the Chelsea porcelain factory, which was established in 1743 by Charles Gouyn and the Flemish Huguenot Nicholas Sprimont. Sprimont was a renowned silversmith whose patrons included members of the Royal family, and the designs that he produced for the factory were heavily influenced by silver forms. Gouyn and Sprimont sold their wares directly from their factory, catering to the top end of the market.

This teapot has a faceted body moulded with strawberry leaf decoration on four feet. The pot is decorated with floral sprays and insects and the cover takes the shape of a leaf with a strawberry stem finial. Very few Chelsea teapots of this form are recorded. Other examples feature painted scenes and a similar teapot painted with floral bouquets was sold at Sotheby’s in 1996. Chelsea often took inspiration from other leading European manufacturers such as Meissen, St. Cloud and Vincennes-Sèvres. The detailed flowers and insects painted on this teapot, for example, may have been copied directly from Meissen which, alongside other German manufacturers, employed botanical painting on porcelain. The moulded strawberry leaf pattern was probably inspired by pieces from the French porcelain factory at Chantilly.