Extremely Rare Teapot at Woolley and Wallis
A rare John Bartlam teapot has been discovered by Ceramics and Glass specialist Clare Durham at auctioneers Woolley and Wallis. A fascinating find, it is only the seventh piece of Bartlam porcelain to have been unearthed, with the other six now residing in the US, spread between private collections and museums.
The print on one side of the teapot, unrecorded on any piece of English porcelain, is identical to that on two saucers only recently re-attributed to John Bartlam from the Isleworth factory. This is only the second piece of Bartlam’s wares to come up at auction and the first in the UK; it is also the earliest known existing American porcelain teapot.
Emigrating from the UK in 1763, where he was established as a potter in Staffordshire, John Bartlam set up business in Cain Hoy, South Carolina, producing slipwares, creamwares and pearlwares which were good enough to compete with the imports of his rival Josiah Wedgwood. It was only in 2007 that analysis of excavated sherds revealed that Bartlam also produced a limited amount of soft-paste porcelain, and that those sherds were matched to four teabowls that had been sold at auction in 2002, together with the two saucers detailed above. This rewrote American porcelain history, which had the Philadelphia concern of Bonnin and Morris as the first producers of porcelain across the Atlantic.
Private viewing of this incredibly rare teapot is available by prior arrangement in either Salisbury or London, and the sale is their Fine Porcelain and Pottery - 20 Feb 2018