DATE: 1573-1619 (made)
PLACE: China (made)
Netherlands (made) mounts
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in underglaze blue enamels, silver mounts

From the early 17th century, Chinese porcelain teapots began to be exported to Europe along with tea, which was slowly becoming a fashionable drink in the West. Kraak is the name given to Chinese porcelain that is decorated with floral patterns in cobalt blue, which can be seen on this teapot. Mass-produced and exported to Europe by the Dutch East India company, the name possibly derives from the Portuguese and Spanish carracks or cargo ships upon which such wares were transported. In order to facilitate the trade of luxury goods with China, the Dutch established a trading post on the island of Formosa in 1625. Previously part of the collection of a Dutch noble family, this teapot demonstrates the fashion for such exotic objects in the West. Mounts were often added to export wares once they reached Europe to emphasise their luxury and rarity or to mask any damage that had occurred in transit. The silver handle and lid on this teapot were most likely produced to replace broken elements.