All Victorian households – including the poorest – had a teapot. This elegant example was designed by Christopher Dresser (1834 – 1904) as part of a three-piece tea set. From the late 1850s, Dresser designed a whole range of functional, yet beautiful items for people’s homes including wallpaper, carpets, glass, furniture and ceramics. He was unusual for his time: while others were designing exclusive and expensive individual pieces for their clients’ homes, Dresser pioneered ‘industrial design’ – pieces which could be mass produced, making beautiful but functional household items more affordable. This silver-plated teapot would most likely have belonged to a middle-class household.
Christopher Dresser put Middlesbrough on the map not only as a centre for industry but for exceptional design and craftsmanship when he co-founded the Linthorpe Art Pottery. Find out more and view more of his designs in the Made in the Tees Valley theme.
Compare this teapot to the pewter teapot from a working class household.
Image courtesy of Middlesbrough Museums Service