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.

Back to top