Zodiac Teapot

ARTIST / MAKER: Alexander & Son (maker)
DATE: 1895 (made)
PLACE: Scotland (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with chased decoration, ivory insulators

The body of this teapot features a decorative band depicting the twelve signs of the Zodiac combined with Asian ornament. During the Victorian period in Britain (1837–1901) there was a keen interest in spiritualism, mythology, and supernatural forces, all of which were thought to affect human fortune. The ‘zodiac pattern’ would have appealed to Victorian taste and was made famous by the Glasgow silversmiths in the late 19th century, who were most likely inspired by similar designs on decorative art objects from Thailand, Persia, Burma and India, which were imported in vast quantities for the Western market.