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Ocean teapot and lid - 1882

An ornate majolica teapot, ©  Wedgwood Museum
    An ornate majolica teapot
    © Wedgwood Museum

This humble domestic teapot embodies many of the tastes and trends in vogue during the latter decades of the nineteenth century. The Victorians in an era of discovery wanted ‘natural’ design elements to feature in the domestic products they purchased, but they also wanted to be fashionable, given the craze for Japonaiserie that was sweeping Europe at the time. This object is part of a tea set in the Wedgwood Museum's collections.

Captivated by all aspects of exploration and discovery the Victorians clamoured for ceramics that featured naturalistic forms and decoration. Japanese art remained the dominant influence on European fashion during the nineteenth century, and following the country’s participation in the International Exhibitions a craze for shapes and decoration in the Japanese ‘style’ ensued. This humble Majolica teapot, with its moulded shell motifs and distinct Japanese influences, satisfied the market’s demand for ‘Japonaiserie’. The Etruria factory, as a direct response to a request from Charles Bachhoffner - Wedgwood’s London showroom manager, developed the eye-catching light coloured background that is a feature of this item. This object is part of a tea set in the Wedgwood Museum's collections.

  • Type of object: Teaware/teapot
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD
  • Year produced: 1882
  • Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
  • Glaze: clear glaze
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: moulded, majolica
  • Accession number: 9076a, 9076b
  • Dimensions: 170 mm (height), 170 mm (width), 118 mm (diameter)

Other images


  • Queen’s ware

    Queen’s ware

    In 1765 Wedgwood provided a tea and coffee service to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) in the new earthenware body he had recently perfected. She was so pleased with the set that she not only allowed Josiah to style himself ‘Potter to Her Majesty’, she also allowed him to call his new earthenware ‘Queen’s ware’ - a name by which Wedgwood’s cream coloured earthenware is still known today.