Teapot with Cover
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Nations Divided, 1860–1910
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.
Height: 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
Diameter of base: 6 x 3 in. (15.2 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with an "S" below.
Gift of Franklin Chace
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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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.87.32.jpg)
group, 68.87.32.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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.
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