Prototype teapot by Christopher Dresser

This rare and highly important small electroplated teapot was one of a small collection of unusual geometric examples, all originally made as samples or prototypes.


Electroplate and ebonized wood
12 x 22 cm
Art Fund grant:
£15,000 ( Total: £68,813; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
Deborah Gage

Six of the teapots, including this one, never reached production, being considered too eccentric and advanced for the period. The unusual oriental design of the teapot can be largely attributed to Dresser's three-month visit to Japan at the end of 1876. The Japanese aesthetic influence is evident in the teapot's low, drum-shaped body, and simple angular spout, almost certainly based on the traditional Japanese sake bottle. The small hinged cover, placed at the front of the teapot, is suggestive of that on a Japanese portable writing set. It is Dresser's interpretation of the Japanese aesthetic, however, that make his designs so interesting.


James Dixon & Sons; Philips, British, Contiental and American Decorative Arts, 29/3/94, lot 186, Deborah Gage Works of Art Ltd.

Venue details

National Museum of Scotland Chambers Street, EDINBURGH Edinburgh EH1 1JF 0300 123 6789

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5pm 26 Dec and 1 Jan, 12 – 5pm Closed 25 Dec