ARTIST / MAKER: Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca. 1722-1725 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

Over the 18th century, tea drinking in Europe gradually transformed from a perceived exotic novelty to a domestic ritual and, accordingly, tea sets were decorated with European designs or painted scenes. Sea voyages and harbour scenes of European ships and merchants, such as those on this teapot, were commonly painted onto Meissen porcelain. The decorative framework is painted with gilt leaf scrolls, iron-red leaf strapwork and Böttger lustre, a shiny pink-lilac glaze that was developed by Johann Friedrich Böttger and frequently used on gilt-edged surrounds. The K.P.M mark on the base of the teapot indicates that it was made in 1722, before the Meissen crossed swords mark was introduced. The painting was likely done at a later date and is similar in style to the work of the painter Johann George Heintze who worked at Meissen as a painter of ‘sea voyages’. The harbour scenes probably derive from drawings by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664), an Italian draughtsman and printmaker whose work was known at the Meissen manufactory.