What exactly is a british teapot?

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StoneLadle
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:03 am

Not as touchy what they did in terms of feely... way back when...

But, it is history after all... and their pots are pretty ugly as far as i'm concerned... with exceptions, of course!
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LeoFox
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:03 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Victoria
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:13 pm

British product designer Christopher Dresser (1834–1904) designed some iconic modern teaware. He was in the avant-guard of modern product design and industrial fabrication, allied with the British Aesthetic Movement and Anglo-Japanese (1851) style (Japonisme outside of England). Both were British aesthetic movements which later became international in scope. He worked with Wedgwood for a while, and made pieces out of terracotta, although most of his teaware is in silver. I find his pattern design particularly innovative which he used in rugs, fabrics, wallpaper, and ceramics, and aesthetically runs parallel to the British Arts & Crafts movement which also became international in scope.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collectio ... 981-1005-1
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StoneLadle
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:52 pm

...dystopian...
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wave_code
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:43 pm

really interesting. I know of Japonisme more through the art history/painting side but not really in terms of craft. the top two are really neat looking and I would believe it was a Bauhaus pot if someone told me, but I guess this predates that by a couple decades.
.m.
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:29 pm

This one is closely related to a very classic yixing design. I'm not sure which came first though.
His terracotta pieces do show a clear influence of yixing pottery.

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Victoria
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:09 pm

.m. wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:29 pm
This one is closely related to a very classic yixing design. I'm not sure which came first though.
His terracotta pieces do show a clear influence of yixing pottery.

Picture from humi.cside collection
Image
I’m not a Yixing expert but looks like the rectangular shape has been around at least since Qianlong period (1736-1795). https://www.lotsearch.net/lot/a-small-r ... r-45744266

Also, the use of silver in conjunction with ivory or wood in teapots was frequently used by Paul Revere and others, a hundred years before Christopher Dresser. Dresser’s innovation was how he combined modern design with mass production using new machinery. Many consider Dresser to be the first industrial designer, his innovations run concurrently with Great Britain’s mid 18th century industrial revolution which later spread to the rest of the world.
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YahYue
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Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:05 pm

Reading through this thread it reminds me of a decade-old question I was asked by a customer:

Did the British misunderstand what a faircup was for and, instead, simply repurposed it to hold the dairy?

I had no answers then and I still don't now, but all this conversation on design and intent has made curious as to some of your thoughts on this? Coming from a Cantonese background, I can only think of the British (and North American coffee culture) that uses a separate clayware pouring vessel for cream or milk.
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Bok
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Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:14 pm

YahYue wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:05 pm
Reading through this thread it reminds me of a decade-old question I was asked by a customer:

Did the British misunderstand what a faircup was for and, instead, simply repurposed it to hold the dairy?

I had no answers then and I still don't now, but all this conversation on design and intent has made curious as to some of your thoughts on this? Coming from a Cantonese background, I can only think of the British (and North American coffee culture) that uses a separate clayware pouring vessel for cream or milk.
The fair cup is a recent invention, no older than the 1980s... Taiwanese invented it, probably inspired by the Japanese water cooler vessels.

Before you just poured into the cups directly, gong fu brewing style.

The Chinese in turn copied it from Taiwan.
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YahYue
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Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:37 pm

Bok wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:14 pm
YahYue wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:05 pm
Reading through this thread it reminds me of a decade-old question I was asked by a customer:

Did the British misunderstand what a faircup was for and, instead, simply repurposed it to hold the dairy?

I had no answers then and I still don't now, but all this conversation on design and intent has made curious as to some of your thoughts on this? Coming from a Cantonese background, I can only think of the British (and North American coffee culture) that uses a separate clayware pouring vessel for cream or milk.
The fair cup is a recent invention, no older than the 1980s... Taiwanese invented it, probably inspired by the Japanese water cooler vessels.

Before you just poured into the cups directly, gong fu brewing style.

The Chinese in turn copied it from Taiwan.
Ah! Now that is interesting! I remember showing that individual one of those mass produced box tea sets and he was confused about the faircup. I told him it was to pour the tea into but he was convinced that it had to be for the milk, so much so that I started thinking it (though thankfully never voicing it until now). Thanks for the history!
mbanu
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Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:07 am

YahYue wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:05 pm
Reading through this thread it reminds me of a decade-old question I was asked by a customer:

Did the British misunderstand what a faircup was for and, instead, simply repurposed it to hold the dairy?

I had no answers then and I still don't now, but all this conversation on design and intent has made curious as to some of your thoughts on this? Coming from a Cantonese background, I can only think of the British (and North American coffee culture) that uses a separate clayware pouring vessel for cream or milk.
It is actually the reverse; the fairness cup was a re-purposed creamer. Taiwanese tea-culture was born out of a mixture of neighboring tea-cultures (China, Hong Kong), and colonial exporters who dealt in Taiwanese tea (Japan, America, UK). However, there seems to be a desire for it to be a uniquely Taiwanese thing. While the results are uniquely Taiwanese, the origins are not, which I think can lead to some tensions when it comes to tea-history.

In Volume 6 of the old Art of Tea magazine, Dai Zu Xi had an English-translated article on the subject that claimed the original creamer was not even a British milk pitcher for tea, but an American coffee creamer! (Due to internet pirates, we can conveniently quote the original article):
Around 1975, the thriving economy led to the emergence of tea shops. Shop owners prepared samples of different kinds of tea for potential customers as a means of promotion; over time, visitors filled these outlets. The crowd was lively and the business good. There was one inconvenience though – the spout of the teapots was not up to the task. As everyone was enjoying their cuppa, there was tea dripping all over the table top which was rather unsightly. At this time, a salesman showed up with a pitcher, or tea pourer or tea receptacle as some chose to call it. Essentially, it is a receptacle to receive the tea liquor from the teapot. Tea is then poured into individual teacups. The unprecedented precision it offers to tea pouring turned the pitcher into an immediate success. Since then, it has been indispensable as part of a complete tea service. It works equally well with small teapots, where by it holds two to three brewings for a larger number of people. Last but not least, the pitcher allows minute and hard-to-strain tea leaves to settle before the tea liquor is served.

Inquisitive minds will ask, how did this come about? Well, the story traces all the way to a porcelain factory in the northern part of Taiwan. Actually, the factory manufactured sanitary wares for bathrooms. As a sideline, they had also developed a 15-piece coffee set which was modeled after the tulip. Among the 15 pieces was one which looked like a coffee cup, except that it had a small spout on one side. It was designed to pour cream into coffee cups without dripping, a creamer. It just happened that there was considerable surplus of this item. Seeing this surplus stock, one smart salesman had an idea. An avid tea drinker who frequented tea houses, he knew very well tea drinkers’ needs. With his untiring effort, these tulip-shaped pitchers found their way to the tables of tea shops in Taipei. In less than a month, pitchers of different shapes appeared in the market. They were given a push by tea art classes, which formalized the position of the pitcher as an indispensable item in the art of tea.
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Bok
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Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:36 am

@mbanu that is an interesting development!

Still I think it might have more source than one. Japanese stayed in Taiwan for a very long period and brought all sorts of cultural habits with them. And the yumazashi is part of the old Sencha do for much longer than the 1970s.

It makes also more sense as the whole Taiwanese way of making tea is heavily inspired by Senchado as well.
faj
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Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:35 pm

mbanu wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:07 am
There was one inconvenience though – the spout of the teapots was not up to the task. As everyone was enjoying their cuppa, there was tea dripping all over the table top which was rather unsightly.
Personally, I have disliked the pour on all pitchers I have tried (a few of them only, admittedly) , as they all had a heavy tendency to drip a little (when lucky) or a lot (when the flow of water breaks down and starts following the surface of the vessel. I am now using simple glass teapots as pitchers : they have made that problem go away entirely.

Funny to see a version of the history of fair cups describing the exact opposite. I guess it is a matter of which teapot and which pitcher are involved...
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LeoFox
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Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:44 pm

Rarity
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Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:08 am

Its been very informative reading all your replies thank you!
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