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Blue lined ‘Castleford-type’ teapot, sliding cover: C.1274 & A-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Blue lined ‘Castleford-type’ teapot, sliding cover


Factory: Sowter & Co. (Perhaps)




White felspathic stoneware teapot and sliding cover, with moulded body and applied reliefs, edged with blue enamel.

Castleford-type teapot with ovoid body, a short oval galleried neck with scalloped rim and an S curved spout. Squared loop handle with spurs projecting up at the top and down near the bottom. Smear glazed on the outside. On each side of the body, convex vertical strips separate slightly translucent, convex rectangular panels. The central panels are each decorated with a classical female figure, one holding a cornucopia, the other a garland which is draped around a vase and pedestal. Around the lower part of the body is a strip of upward pointing leaves; the other panels, strips and shoulder are decorated with flowering foliage and acanthus. The gallery has a scalloped edge and is decorated with a daisy chain. The cover has a similar partial gallery, made to fit the other when slid into place, and a central finial moulded as a flower sitting on a bed of leaves; around the edge is a strip of inward facing pointed leaves and stylised acanthus; there is a vent hole to one side. A narrow blue line marks the edges of the panels, handle and spout and the leaves under the finial, separates the main panels horizontally into two and outlines each daisy on the gallery. The interior is unglazed, with a domed strainer at base of the spout. The underside is slightly recessed, giving a narrow foot-rim.


History note: Bought on 30 June 1905 from Mr Phillips of Hitchen by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge, price eighteen shillings and sixpence (18/6).

Legal notes

Dr. J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Place(s) associated

  • Mexborough ⪼ South Yorkshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


19th Century, Early#
George III
Circa 1795 CE - Circa 1810 CE


On purchasing this teapot, Dr Glaisher noted ‘extremely well moulded […] very likely made by Dunderdale’. However, this is unlikely to be the case, since both shape and decoration differ from typical examples and the interior is unglazed (see Cox). Similarly shaped and decorated teapots have been found marked ‘S & oC’ or ‘S & Co’, which suggests the maker could be Sowter & Co of Mexborough. The mark ‘22’ is found on a number of ‘Castleford-type’ teawares and has also been linked to Sowter & Co (see Edwards Roussel).

Teapots of this shaped oval form are sometimes called silver- or commode-shaped, after the curving fronts of French chests-of-drawers. The sliding cover is a device to prevent the lid falling off when the tea is poured; the handle is squared to allow the lid to slide; an upward pointing spur helps to stop it falling off.

The figure with cornucopia may be Pomona, goddess of fruitful abundance.

‘Castleford-type’ teawares are named for The Castleford Pottery in Yorkshire, run by David Dunderdale & Co. from 1790 to 1821, which was renowned for its white felspathic stoneware. However, other factories such as Sowter & Co of Mexborough, South Yorkshire and Chetham & Woolley of Longton, Staffordshire made similar products and there are many unmarked examples. Examples are typically plain white or white with edges lined in blue or another colour, or black basalt. The smear-glazing makes the most of the crisply-moulded ornament, whilst the stoneware would be durable in an everyday setting. The teapots are moulded in two parts, with applied handle and sprig decoration, and may have a drop-in, sliding or hinged cover. There are four examples in the Fitzwilliam Collection, of which two have sliding lids and two have added blue lining, this example having both.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue)
Over Knob Height 16.5 cm
Handle-spout Length 27.6 cm

Materials used in production

Felspathic stoneware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White felspathic stoneware with press-moulded body and applied reliefs, painted in blue enamel

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 22
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: No 2294 Castleford teapot of a white transparent stoneware. Subjects in relief. Blue line decoration. Bought at Hitchin June 30, 1905
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1274 & A-1928
Primary reference Number: 71711
Old object number: 2294
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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