Tiny teapots seem to congregate and multiply at my house. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors but, most are brown or dark green. I love the little commercial weight ceramic individual teapots used for service during the 1930’s and later. Hall and Sadler are two of my favorite manufacturers and I now diligently look for these type pots only but I have a fair amount of other tiny teapots in the collection and this little brown turban pot was my first in my collection.
At one time there were over one hundred tiny teapots on shelves in my dining room then disaster struck. One of the shelves holding about twenty four of them fell, hit another shelf next to it also holding about twenty four pots and the next thing I knew pieces and shards were everywhere. I cried while picking up the pieces and came to the realization; too many tiny teapots is not a good thing.
Even though I purged quite a few from the collection, I still have too many single serve teapots but I do love them and some have been with me a very long time. This sweet tiny brown pot was the start of my collection. I bought it about 40 years ago at a yard sale and brought it home because it was so visually attractive. I had never seen such a small ceramic pot. The diners and restaurants I ate at only served hot tea in metal pots and I honestly had no idea there were such attractive ceramic teapots in an individual size. Once I began researching these individual serving pots I found an entirely new-to-me genre of collectible pots.
A dark brown glaze with a whitewash over-glaze accents the swag type ripples and buttons on the sides of this egg shaped pot to give it a turban-like look. The oval opening is just big enough to slip in one teabag but not wide enough for an infuser. It holds about two cups of tea. The interior is glazed in the same dark brown as the exterior. The ergonomically correct handle makes this pot a pleasure to pour for adult or child size hands. “Made in Japan” is marked on the bottom which tells me it’s most likely an import after WWII. The dark terracotta clay the pot is made of leads me to believe it was rather inexpensive originally.
We call this pot Danny’s pot. When my oldest nephew was little – maybe only two or two and a half, he would not drink milk. My brother and his wife were at their whit’s end trying to cajole this kid into drinking milk. When Dan came to my house, I filled this diminutive pot with milk, gave him a demitasse cup and he drank pot after pot of anything I put in the pot. So of course whenever Danny visited, I filled it with milk, sometimes chocolate milk. Being the favorite auntie I was apt to spoil that darling boy. Much later when Dan gained the wisdom of a 10 year old he told me, “It’s your job Auntie Cindy. You have to love me!” Then of course he’d take off running, laughing for all he was worth. Even though I added many more individual pots to my collection, Dan continued to ask for his teapot till he was about twelve. The one thing that changed as he aged was we started sharing pots of tea.
Dan’s favorite demitasse cup and saucer are a marriage of two pieces without their mate but of the same weight and type of pottery. Their similar style with a leaf shaped saucer and a flower shaped cup with thin tendrils of a handle blends them into a collaborative whole and almost makes them look like a matched set.
My nephew now lives in Germany with his family and I rarely get to see them. They just had a daughter two years ago and this darling little girl is our only great niece. I think I may wrap up this pot and demitasse cup and saucer set to send to Dan’s daughter now that she’s two. Maybe she needs a little encouragement drinking milk. The tradition should continue don’t you think?