Why You Might Like to Collect Teapots
Who collects teapots?
Many people collect teapots. I collect teapots. I started my collection many years ago. It is fun to add to it every now and then. Maybe I'll get one as a gift. (Hint! Hint!)
Interestingly, there is no special word to describe collectors of teapots, the way stamp collectors are called philatelists and coin collectors are called numismatists.
What would you call a person who collects teapots?
An Ancient Chinese Teapot
What is the origin of the teapot?
The teapot most likely originated in China. It is used for both steeping the tea leaves and for holding the tea and keeping it warm until it is poured into the teacup. Originally teapots were very small and were intended for the brewing of just a single cup of tea.
Teapots have been made from many different materials, clay, stone, metals (bronze, copper, and others), glass, enamel, ceramics, porcelain and more. Some teapots are functional and some are best reserved solely for decorative purposes.
Do people collect teapots because tea is special?
Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. The popularity of tea may have something to do with the popularity of collecting teapots.
Tea is associated with comfort. Tea is steeped in history and tradition. Many cultures have traditional tea service ceremonies. Tea is warming, mildly invigorating, with a subtle taste. People drink coffee to rev themselves up; people drink tea to relax. Coffee is drunk; tea is sipped.
Tea was first exported to the Western world from China in the 17th century. It was very expensive at that time and only the upper classes could afford to drink it. Even today, in the era of Lipton tea bags, tea retains a little bit of a feeling of specialness and elegance.
Tea is special and a teapot brings those associations to mind.
Here are a few of my favorite teapots.
A Happy-Home Teapot
An Apple-Basket Teapot
An Elegant Floral Teapot
What are some different types of teapot collections?
Collecting teapots is a popular hobby.
Collectors specialize in many different ways. Some people collect teapots from only certain periods of history, from only certain materials, or only teapots that fit a certain theme--for example, teapots with a floral design.
Some collectors like to buy a teapot as a souvenir from every country that they visit.
I collect teapots that are fun—teapots that look like other things. I collect them because they make me smile.
Part of my teapot collection is teapots in the shape of homes. It reminds me not only of the pleasures of tea, but also the pleasures of home. It’s a two-fer. I keep home shaped teapots (and cookie jars) in my kitchen since the kitchen is “the heart of the home.”
I have a teapot in the shape of a basket of apples. It has pride of place in my kitchen on a built-in book shelf next to my collection of recipe books.
I also have a teapot that looks like a can-can dancer and another that looks like a flapper in a Model T. I’ve put those in my bedroom.
I have a couple of other teapots also, but they look like teapots.
Why collect animal-themed teapots?
There are a lot of teapots made to resemble animals. As the picture above proves, the concept of animal themed teapots goes all the way back to ancient China.
I think animal-themed teapots are especially appropriate for the kitchen and dining room/area—especially those related to farms. They could be displayed in a china cabinet, on shelves, on counters, or over the built-in kitchen wall cabinets if there is a space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.
The following teapots are actual functional teapots, although they are so beautiful, they might be better kept as objects d’art rather than subjected to the wear and tear of daily use.
A Rooster Teapot
Roosters are a popular theme for kitchens. This teapot will be right at home with rooster plates, dish towels, pot holders, etc.
This strikingly colorful teapot brightens up my kitchen.
I received this teapot as a gift from a friend. It makes me smile every time I see it, and of, course, it reminds me of my friend.
A Barnyard Cow Teapot
This whimsical cow offers a bonus chicken sitting on its back that serves as the handle for the lid. He looks so friendly and cheery with his red and white bandanna.
Use it for tea or fill it with milk for your morning cereal.
This teapot fits the barnyard animals theme of my kitchen. I use it for tea, but I also sometimes fill it with milk or cream when I have guests for brunch. It's a wonderful way to serve the cream for coffee.
A Honey Bee Teapot
There’s sure to be a bee on any farm, perhaps in the kitchen garden planted alongside the house. Invite this friendly little critter in to brighten up the kitchen.
(Note: I wouldn't advise having an actual bee flying around your kitchen--neither you nor the bee would be very happy about that. But if you love bees, like I do, this little fit would be great to have around the house.
This ceramic hand-painted bumble bee teapot is black and yellow with a great big happy-face smile.
I gave this teapot as a gift to a friend. She doesn't collect teapots, but she is a beekeeper.
A Ladybug Teapot
Have you ever made a wish on a ladybug? With your very own ladybug shaped teapot you can wish away whenever you want.
Ladybugs are so cute and this hand-painted ceramic ladybug teapot is adorable. The colors are vibrant and the lid latches shut so it won’t fall off when you pour out the tea.
It’s delicate so no dishwasher for this little bug--hand wash it only.
I remember allowing ladybugs to crawl on my hand when I was a child. "Lady bug, lady bug, fly away. Your house is on fire and your children will burn." Then I would gently blow on the ladybug and she would fly away.
Why did all the kids in my neighborhood chant that? I don't know. But whenever I see this bright red teapot, it brings back happy memories of childhood.
A Cat Teapot
It’s Chester the Cat in hand-painted raised ceramic. This is one cat you won’t have to shoo off of your kitchen counter.
Just don’t put him in the microwave or dishwasher. (You wouldn’t do that to your kitty, would you?)
This teapot is not as bright as some of the others, but the expression on his face just captivates me. I have him on a book shelf in my living room and he looks like he is ready to pounce.
A White Elephant Teapot
,I doubt that there are any real elephants on the farm or in your home, not even if you live in in India. But who could resist a literal white elephant?
If you ever tire of it, it is sure to be a hit at a white elephant sale.
Who says a teapot has to be used for tea? I use this one to hold an arrangement of dried flowers.
© 2014 Catherine Giordano