Teapot and presentoir

ARTIST / MAKER: Worcester porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca.1760-65 (made)
PLACE: Worcester (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

Founded in 1751, the Worcester porcelain factory created wares that were thinly potted, able to withstand the temperature of boiling water, and were considerably cheaper than porcelain imported from China and Japan. This was due to the use of soapstone, a rock rich in the mineral talc, which was added to the clay. Worcester teawares often imitated the styles, colours and designs of Chinese export wares and the palette used to decorate this teapot is typical of Chinese famille verte or ‘green family’ porcelain, so called because of its dominant use of the colour green. The teapot depicts dragons, lions, vases and censers displayed in alternating quarterly sections. This pattern, known as ‘Kylin’ or ‘Dragon in compartments’, originally decorated Chinese famille verte produced during the Kangxi Period (1661-1722). The puce (purple) enamel on this teapot was rarely used in China however and was most likely inspired by the decoration used at the well-established Meissen and Sèvres manufactories. This teapot also has a red square seal mark on the base, in imitation of the character marks found on Chinese porcelain.