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Teapot with Cover
Accession # 68.87.32a-b
Manufacturer Union Porcelain Works
Designer Karl L. H. Mueller
Title Teapot with Cover
Date ca. 1876
Medium Porcelain
Dimensions Height: 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm) Diameter of base: 6 x 3 in. (15.2 x 7.6 cm)
Marks Painted in red on bottom over glaze: "U.P.W." with an "S" below.
Inscriptions no inscriptions
Signed no signature
Credit Line Gift of Franklin Chace
Location American Identities: Expanding Horizons
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.

Curatorial Remarks:

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.