Teapot with Cover
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Nations Divided, 1860–1910
The motifs on this tea set are representations of race from the nineteenth century, a time when stereotypical racial images circulated heavily in popular culture and were rarely questioned.
The imagery was intended to symbolize the labor required for the contents of each vessel, including an enslaved African sugarcane picker for the sugar bowl, an Asian man for the teapot, and a goat for the cream pitcher. These objects speak to the exploitative nature of the relationship between white Americans and African descendants and Asian peoples under colonial regimes.
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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