Tiny Chinese Imari teapot, c.1700

Though this octagonal-shaped Chinese porcelain teapot from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) appears to be a miniature, it is indeed a functioning vessel. Tea was only for the wealthy in the late 17th century; brewed in highly concentrated batches in tiny teapots and┬áconsumed in small amounts. This fine example, which stands nearly 4″ high, has cobalt blue underglaze decoration with iron red and gilt detailing. The remains of the original porcelain spout have been replaced by a much smaller silver cap, most likely in Amsterdam in the 1800s. As a precaution against loss, the lid has been shackled to the┬áhandle using a fine-link chain. This embellishment may have been added at the same time as the replacement spout.

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This nearly identical teapot with the same form, size and decoration as mine shows what the original spout looked like before the addition of the silver replacement.

imari teapot

Photo courtesy of Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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3 Responses to “Tiny Chinese Imari teapot, c.1700”

  1. Deborah Lockwood says:

    I love this little teapot!

  2. Diane says:

    What a charmer! The repairs make it perfect!

  3. Monika says:

    It is gorgeous and precious too. Have not seen one like it, and your blog is showing up some really interesting pieces. Really enjoyable seeing and reading about these treasures!

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