ARTIST / MAKER: Worcester porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: 1770 (made)
PLACE: Worcester (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Soft-paste porcelain painted in enamels

The Worcester porcelain factory was founded in 1751 by Dr. John Wall, a chemist, artist and physician, whose aim was to emulate the porcelain produced by the great European manufactories of Meissen and Sèvres. The factory produced wares that were thinly potted, yet better able to withstand the temperature of boiling water, and were considerably cheaper than the porcelain imported from China and Japan. This was due to the use of soapstone, a rock rich in the mineral talc, that was added to reinforce the clay. This teapot features Worcester’s ‘Mansfield’ pattern in inky blue enamel, which was used extensively by the factory to decorate teawares throughout the 18th century. Although similar to the factory’s ‘Peony’ pattern, the ‘Mansfield’ design is recognisable by its asymmetrical rococo-style ornament, and by the painted borders around the rim and lid which feature pineapples. During the latter half of the 18th century such blue and white wares were extremely popular with the ever-growing middle class. This teapot was over-decorated at a later stage with iron-red and gilt blossoms, a practice known as ‘clobbering’ whereby new decoration is applied over the original.