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A buyer's guide to novelty teapots

A teapot is the creation of the Chinese. Tea drinking till the ninth century was a purely Chinese activity, but Japanese Buddhist monk Eichu brought tea drinking etiquettes to Japan. He even delighted the Emperor by serving him tea. In China, tea drinking and Zen Buddhism co-mingled, evolved and influenced eventually the classical Japanese tea drinking ceremony.

Three legged teapot

The earliest teapot for one, of the fifteenth century has evolved into the multi-shaped novelty teapot of today. Teapots can be modern or antique. Unusual teapots can be rare and very expensive. A typical example of teapots in UK is the majolica teapot made in the nineteenth century for the Isle of Man. It was made in a Staffordshire factory and is in the shape of a three legged man. The third leg forms the spout.

Dracula or Brown Betty

A visit to a teapot shop can reveal amazing designs. Teapots for sale can have the strangest shapes like Dracula or a Toby snuff taker. A specialist manufacturer of novelty teapottery was James Sadler and sons. The company started manufacturing Sadler pottery in 1882. It survived till the year 2000 when the brand was bought by Churchill China. Brown Betty teapots are a famous creation of this company.

Paul Cardew teapot

Another variation in novelty kettles is teapot glass. This is a modern Chinese creation and includes a transparent glass teapot with a filter which can contain tea leaves and remain suspended inside the pot. These are made in the classical globe shape. A famous name in pottery teapot manufacturing is Paul Cardew. His cactus teapot is a collector’s item and the Suzy Floosey teapot shaped like a duck with ducklings is a novelty classic.

John Bull or Sam Weller teapot

A unique creation in teapots is the tea for one set. This includes a wide mouthed cup on which rests the teapot. At a glance, it looks like a single piece but actually consists of a cup, saucer and a small teapot with lid. Many people love collecting these quaint tea for one sets. Some spend a lot of time researching to buy teapot accessories and collectibles. An Alice in Wonderland teapot is a favourite. Tea drinking is a favourite pastime of the British. They are famous like the Japanese and Chinese for their tea drinking quirks. There can be nothing more English than a teapot in the shape of John Bull or a Dickensian Sam Weller teapot. An entire new category is available in miniature teapots. Miniature teapots can be in the form of cheap tiny doll house tea sets or very expensive collectibles. It is easy to get lost in the world of novelty teapots but it indeed is a wonderland of bone china.

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