ARTIST / MAKER: William Darker (maker)
DATE: 1730 (made)
PLACE: England (made)

This is an example of a silver bullet teapot. The name ‘bullet’ refers to its spherical body and is thought to derive from its similarity to the shape of the round lead musket ball. The bullet shape succeeded the earlier pear-shaped teapots, which were inspired by Chinese export porcelain examples and were fashionable at the beginning of the 18th century. Like this example, bullet teapots were typically plainly decorated with flat covers, cylindrical spouts and mounted on a stepped foot.

Its maker, William Darker, also known as William Darkeratt, began his apprenticeship in 1711 to Richard Bailey, known for his production of plain hollow-ware. When Darker became free on 4th December 1718, he became a master maker and appears to have continued producing hollow ware products such as beakers, tankards, coffee pots and tea pots until his death in 1734.

The coat of arms on the body of the teapot was probably added later, with the two similar halves suggesting it is a marital coat of arms in which husband and wife are related at a certain distance, and attributed to the family of Hawkins in Kent.