ARTIST / MAKER: Mortimer & Hunt (maker)
DATE: 1840 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Cast, chased and engraved silver, with ivory insulators

By the 19th century, tea was firmly established as the national drink of Britain and taken by all classes of society at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Victorian silver teapot was made by the London silversmithing firm of Mortimer and Hunt, which operated between 1839 and 1843 following a partnership between silversmiths Paul Storr and John Mortimer.

The teapot’s melon form is enhanced with a cast foliate foot, along with a handle and spout chased and engraved to resemble knotted wood. This design follows the fashion for naturalistic shapes inspired by Dutch silverware produced in the mid-18th century, although the teapot’s emblematic acorn finial and oak leaf lid denote its English origins.