Teapot and presentoir

ARTIST / MAKER: William Davie (maker)
DATE: 1775-1776 (made)
19th century (decorated)
PLACE: Edinburgh (made)

As the price of tea leaves fell throughout the 18th century, the consumption of tea and the demand for fashionable teawares rose. Drum teapots, such as this example, came into fashion in Britain during the 1760s when the curvilinear forms of the Rococo style were replaced by more austere Neoclassical designs. Drum teapots were inexpensive and simple to produce, constructed from sheet metal seamed at the handle. Teapots with a flat base were often accompanied by a stand to protect the table surface from the heat. This teapot and stand was made by William Davie, a Scottish silversmith active in Edinburgh between 1740 and 1790. The decorative scalework on the spout and the Scottish foliate scrolls, thistles, roses and clovers were chased at a later date during the Victorian period. The worn Latin motto and crest on both components suggest that they were important items of silver to their owner.