This is an early example of a silver ‘bullet’ teapot, so called for its similarity to the round lead musket ball. Bullet teapots became an iconic teapot form in England and Scotland during the 18th century, succeeding the earlier pear-shaped teapots which were inspired by Chinese export porcelain examples. Bullet teapots were typically plainly decorated and mounted on a stepped foot.
William Fleming was apprenticed to Nathaniel Lock in 1688, registering as a free ‘largeworker’ in ca.1695. A prolific maker, his mark is often found on well executed small pieces of hollow ware. The body of the teapot features an unidentified monogram of a former owner.