Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Home Beautiful: A Barge Ware Teapot, 1870

Barge Ware Teapot
English, 1870
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This little teapot, though it puts us in mind of the ordinary brown British “Brown Betty,” is a rather special model. This pot has a depressed, bulbous body with a frilled rim, and a domed, wide lid which is surmounted by a flattened knop (decorative ornament). It is glazed with a streaked rich brown color which has been applied with cream-colored sprigs, and garlands, and with birds in shades of green, blue and pink. A sentimental cartouche with impressed, blue lettering reads, “A PRESENT TO A FRIEND.”

The work of Mason, Cash and Co., this pot with its rustic brown lead-glaze and applied decoration is known as “Measham ware” or 'Barge ware', and is associated with use on canal boats.

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