A Delft Toy Teapot and Cover, decorated with overglaze enamels and gilding, circa 1750

This charming Dutch toy teapot and cover is made of tin-glazed earthenware. Areas of the original blue painted floral decoration can be glimpsed beneath the rich over-decoration, which was probably applied in England during the early 19th century, in order to appeal to flamboyant Regency tastes for the oriental. Red and pink flowers with green leaves are reserved on a green-seeded ground. The edge of the domed cover and the button knop are gilded, and the brightly-coloured enamel painting is highlighted with gilt detailing. The collar and spout are decorated with red scrolls on a red-dotted ground, and the base is edged with red lines. The use of black enamel on the handle is unusual.

The popularity of the dollhouse amongst members of the Dutch upper classes grew during the 18th century. These Baby Houses were not intended for children to play with, but regarded instead as miniature objets d’art, being almost a microcosm of the owner’s home, aspirations, and social rank.

Condition: Excellent – no damage or restoration, and very little wear to the gilt and enamel decoration.

Dimensions: Height (to top of knop) 7 cm

Delftware: The Tin-glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, Michael Archer (V&A/HMSO, 1997).

English Delftware, F.H. Garner and Michael Archer (Faber & Faber, 1972).