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China trade tea pot

Date: mid-19th century
130 x 250 x 140 mm
Medium: Pewter
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Tea pot
Object No: 00040897

User Terms

    This round-bellied Chinese teapot features a decoration of peonies and four-clawed dragons amongst scrolling waves. The spout is in the shape of a duck's bill with an embossed beared European face at the base. It was made in the Swatow region of China, a centre for exporting pewterware in the 19th century. The teapot's base is marked with the text 'Kut Hing pewter Swatow' and three Chinese ideograms, representing the manufacturers mark.
    SignificanceThis teapot is representative of the prolific amount of pewterware exported from China's Swatow region in the 19th century. It highlights the combination of Chinese and European styles in the production of goods.
    HistoryThe oldest known deposits of tin are in Asia and pewterware was first produced in China from about 200 BC. The most active pewterers were based in Shantou (Swatow). This large coastal town and seaport was one of the main centres for the export of pewterware in large quantities to the Western world during the 19th century. Swatow pewter was first offered around 1885 and it is typically fairly thick and heavy.

    During the 19th century, China attracted European, American and Australian merchants keen to take advantage of the lucrative trade in goods, including silverware, tea, furniture, opium and paintings.

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