ARTIST / MAKER: F. Veyrat (maker)
DATE: ca. 1875 (made)
PLACE: France (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Engraved silver, silver-gilt interior and wooden handle

The design of this French teapot takes its inspiration from the art and culture of Japan, a style known in the West as ‘Japonisme’. It is engraved with scenes of Japanese landscapes which feature pagodas, bamboo stalks and a man and woman in Japanese clothing. The lady holds a tea bowl and saucer in one hand and an overhandle teapot in the other. On her feet she wears geta (下駄), traditional Japanese elevated footwear resembling sandals. The side-handle on this pot is a Japanese form known as ‘Yokode Kyusu’, commonly found on teapots used to serve Sencha, or loose leaf tea. After Japan reopened to trade with the world in 1853, after more than 200 years of seclusion, vast amounts of Japanese goods reached the West. Japonisme became very fashionable in France and was favoured by the Arts and Crafts movement sweeping Europe at this time which took inspiration from the natural world. Japanese art was also considered to derive from a culture that was free from the damaging effects of industrialism, which the Arts and Crafts movement sought to oppose. An undated catalogue of F. VEYRAT, at 21 rue du Château d’Eau in Paris, illustrates the same teapot model on plate 38, article N° 1356; théière forme japonaise unie, intérieur doré 4 tasses (a teapot of Japanese shape without decoration and gilded interior, 4 cups) as well as a companion sugar bowl and cream jug.