A Royal Worcester Aesthetic Teapot and cover, dated 1881 (some restoration)
Lot 308
A Royal Worcester Aesthetic Teapot and cover, dated 1881
Sold for £9,375 (US$ 14,971) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Royal Worcester Aesthetic Teapot and cover, dated 1881 (some restoration) A Royal Worcester Aesthetic Teapot and cover, dated 1881 (some restoration)
A Royal Worcester Aesthetic Teapot and cover, dated 1881
Finely modelled on both sides, one side as an effete young man with long hair and moustache, a sunflower on his lapel, a lovesick maiden with a lace collar and a lily on her lapel on the other side, the cover forming their heads, wearing a purple bonnet on the girl's side and a cap on the man's, the spout and handle formed by their arms, inscribed underneath 'Fearful consequences through the laws of Natural Selection and Evolution of Living up to one's Teapot', 15.5cm high, puce factory mark, registration mark and designer's name 'Budge' (some restoration) (2)

Footnotes

  • This satirical teapot pokes fun at the Aesthetic movement, following the success of two popular satirical plays that premiered in 1881. From Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta 'Patience' Worcester took the figures of the poet Archibald Grosvenor and lovesick Patience, while the colouring of the teapot seems to follow the stage sets created with advice from George Du Maurier for 'The Colonel' written by Francis Burnand. The set design was filled with lilies in long-necked vases and most importantly: '...a room papered with Morris' green Daisy...'. Choosing a teapot for this piece of satire was logical, an exhibition held at the Grosvenor Gallery put on display a single Chinese teapot as perfection in design and the visitors were invited to go home and 'Live up to it'. This was of course immediately satirised by Du Maurier on the pages of 'Punch' magazine. The identity of 'Budge' whose name appears on the base has proved elusive but may possibly be a pseudonym chosen by Worcester's Art Director, R W Binns
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