Published 01. April 2013
Teapot played a significant role in the development of human civilization and
its culture. The teapot probably derived from the ceramic kettles and wine pots
which were also made in bronze and other metals and were a feature of Chinese
cultural life for thousands of years.
From the end of the 17th century tea was shipped from China to Europe as part
of the export of exotic spices and luxury goods. The ships that brought the tea
also carried porcelain teapots. The majority of these teapots were painted in
blue and white underglaze. Tea drinking in Europe was initially the preserve of
the upper classes since it was very expensive. Porcelain teapots were
particularly desirable because porcelain could not be made in Europe at that
time. It wasn't until 1708 that Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus devised a
way of making porcelain in Dresden, Germany, and started the Meissen factory in
1710. When European potteries began to make their own tea wares they were
naturally inspired by the Chinese designs.