The ritual of tea-drinking in the 1700s enabled its participants to demonstrate their genteel manners and to establish a social bond.

The sugar dish or pot, an integral part of tea equipage, was usually made with a matching cover and it is rare that this matching cover has survived, fitting snugly to the pot. This sugar pot, produced in London, has two particularly outstanding features, both of which derive from late Kangxi porcelain, c 1680-1722. First, it is decorated with a bright cobalt blue, reminiscent of the sapphire colour used in late seventeenth-century Jingdezhen wares. Second, the pencilled leaf motif and illustration of a seated figure within an oval frame recall the calligraphic techniques often used by the Chinese on soapstone porcelain. It was the only known example of this design on teaware.


Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery

High Street, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 1BA
01420 82802
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Opening times

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday: Closed

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