List Price £4,500
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Retailed by Mariage Frère (French, founded 1854)
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This charming ‘Karawan’ teapot is modelled as a seated camel with a male figure tying a pack to its hump. The camel’s neck forms the spout, and the handle is modelled as the man’s body, with the camel’s hump forming the hinged cover. Crafted in silver-plate, the piece was retailed by French tea company Mariage Frères, indicated by the inscription on the underside.
The retailed teapots were reproduced after a glazed and gilded earthenware model made in c.1875 by the Moore Bros, exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London after being transferred from the Museum of Practical Geology.
Camel-shapes were a popular choice for teapot makers from the eighteenth century, marking the beginning of exotic influences on European ceramics. The present piece draws inspiration from the revival of such interest into Oriental subjects and motifs in the 1870s. Representing Western ideas of the Orient as an immutable land of adventure, exoticism and mystery, the enchanting teapot was popular during a period of great change in Europe.
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