This teapot was produced during a prosperous and innovative time for Chinese ceramic production, driven by the prolific export of ceramics to the West. The established overseas trade saw influences from Western art being explored by ceramic painters, resulting in an amalgamation of cultural characteristics from within China and abroad. From 1735, Chinese painters were copying European designs with the specific intention to decorate an entire piece of porcelain.
The rare enamel decoration on this teapot is likely inspired from a variety of sources, such as prints circulated by Johann Elias Riedinger and Sébastien Leclerc, as well as inspired by the work of Giuseppe Castiglione who was commissioned in 1747 to paint ‘Ten Fine Hounds’, a series of portraits depicting European purebred hounds kept by the Qianlong Emperor. The breed of Dalmatian emerged in Europe and was popular in England in the 18th century, so it is likely that this subject matter would have been painted to appeal to the English export market.