ARTIST / MAKER: George Owen (modeller)
Samuel Ranford (painter)
Royal Worcester (manufacturer)
DATE: 1878 (made)
PLACE: Worcester (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

This teapot was made at the Royal Worcester factory by the experimental potter George Owen who perfected the art of piercing ceramics to create a honeycomb effect. Anticipating the sale of Royal Worcester to established collectors, he often worked without pay on highly detailed pieces. To create the honeycomb, Owen pierced the wet clay body freehand before each vessel was fired a number of times. The pressure of having to reticulate the body of these objects in their leatherhard stage and their multiple visits to the kiln, meant that they would have often been destroyed or have imperfections. Owen frequently collaborated with the senior gilder at the factory, Samuel Ranford, who created the jewelled borders and perfected the use of tiny gold dots on the intersections of the pierced honeycomb, as can be seen on this teapot. Pieces such as this demonstrate the lasting desire for exquisite and unique tea wares for display in the home.