ARTIST / MAKER: Thomas Holland II (maker)
DATE: 1806 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Cast and die-stamped silver, with carved wood handle

This unusual teapot bears the mark of the silver retailer Thomas Holland II, whose shop was located in Chancery Lane, London. The teapot’s maker is unknown, although some silver ware produced by the London silversmith Charles Hollinshed bear dolphin feet of the same design, suggesting the teapot could have been made by his workshop before he entered his first marks on 7 February 1807. The teapot is decorated on either side with the figure of Venus, the ancient Roman goddess of love, beauty and passion, seated in a dove-drawn chariot above the clouds. Venus was also associated with the sea, which is alluded to in this piece through the inclusion of the feet and finial in the form of marine creatures. This scene was produced before the teapot was assembled by stamping the design on flat sheet metal from behind, using a steel die which creates the outline and slight relief.