A Royal Worcester 'Aesthetic' teapot and cover, dated 1882
Lot 168*
A Royal Worcester 'Aesthetic' teapot and cover, dated 1882
£5,000 - 7,000
US$ 8,400 - 12,000
Lot Details
A Royal Worcester 'Aesthetic' teapot and cover, dated 1882
Of double sided form modelled as a flamboyant young man and woman in aesthetic fashions, the cover forming their heads, she with a bonnet and a ruffled collar, with a large applied lily at her lapel, he with long hair under a cap and a moustache, wearing a pilgrim collar tied with a bow with a large sunflower at his chest, the spout and handle formed by their arms, the base inscribed in puce 'Fearful consequences Through the Laws of Natural selection and Evolution of living up to one's teapot', signed 'Budge', 16cm high, puce mark and registration lozenge for 21st December 1881, impressed date letter T (some restoration) (2)


  • There are two varying models of Aesthetic teapots in which the male's collar and sunflower differ in size. A similar teapot to the present example was sold in these rooms 18 May 2011, lot 554. The teapot acts as a satire of followers of the Aesthetic movement, who were immortalised in Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera, Patience, first performed in 1881. From this Worcester took the figures of the poet Archibald Grosvenor and lovesick Patience, the colouring based on the original stage costumes. 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. The inscription refers to Charles Darwin's theories and to an exhibition of a single Oriental teapot at the Grosvenor Gallery, where visitors were encouraged to go home and 'live up to it'.
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  1. Fergus Gambon
    Specialist - British Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8245
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8252
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