Teapot with Cover
The elegant form of this tea set is derived from eighteenth-century Rococo prototypes, but the amazing variety of flora and fauna that encrust it is typical of the creativity of nineteenth-century eclectic design. The finials on the teapot and sugar bowl, in the form of heads of an Asian male and black sugarcane picker, respectively, will strike many modern viewers as racist imagery, although the nineteenth-century consumer of such porcelain would have considered them benign and, along with the goat's head on the handle of the creamer, clever iconographic shorthand that symbolized the contents of each vessel.
- Manufacturer: Union Porcelain Works, 1863-ca.1922
- Designer: Karl L. H. Mueller, American, born Germany, 1820-1887
- Medium: Porcelain
- Place Manufactured: New York City, New York, United States
- Dates: ca. 1876
- Dimensions: Height: 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm) Diameter of base: 3 in. (7.6 cm)
- Markings: Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with an "S" below.
- Signature: no signature
- Inscriptions: no inscriptions
- Collections:Decorative Arts
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 68.87.32a-b
- Credit Line: Gift of Franklin Chace
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Union Porcelain Works (1863-ca.1922). Teapot with Cover, ca. 1876. Porcelain, Height: 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Franklin Chace, 68.87.32a-b. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Teapot with cover, part of tête-à-tête tea set (68.87.28-.32), hard paste porcelain. Henna ground with floral design, panels with birds and flowers, square handle, spout supported by a bat, finial on cover is a Chinaman's head. Condition: Good, see conservation lab report on file.
- Record Completeness: Best (90%)