This type of teapot is described as a ‘bullet’ teapot which refers to its spherical body and is thought to derive its name from its similarity to the round lead musket balls used at this time. The bullet shape succeeded pear-shaped teapots, which were inspired by Chinese export porcelain examples, and became especially fashionable during the reign of George I. Like this example, bullet teapots were typically plainly decorated with flat covers, cylindrical spouts and mounted on a stepped foot.
This example bears the marks of Anne Tanqueray, daughter of a Huguenot silversmith, who married her father’s apprentice, David Tanqueray, in 1717. Upon her husband’s death, she continued the business and registered two marks at Goldsmiths Hall. These are recorded alongside her husband’s original mark, with his name struck through and hers written above, a highly unusual occurrence at this time. Her workshop was noted for its quality and skill and in 1729 became subordinate goldsmith to the King. At 8cm tall, the teapot’s small size denotes the high cost of tea at the time.