Friday, April 18, 2014

India or China?

I inherited this unusual vintage pot from my husband's family. I'm guessing from the design, it was made around 1920-30. This pot was made in many different colors and sometimes with an applied gold trim.

The divided pot was so the hostess could offer her guests either tea from or China.  Very elegant, yes?

Beside the Twinspout Tea Master make, the Hall Tea company made a lot of teapots that look like this, although they were usually made without two chambers.

The last time I checked, this pot is worth around $200.00 because it is in perfect condition.

There is a kiln mark on the foot, but these are usually overlooked in evaluations. And evaluations vary according to how they are framed. Insurance evals are higher because they refer to replacement values. Auction prices are much lower because they are for a quick sale. The real value is somewhere in between. Also prices will vary according to the way a market swings.

So once the pot is filled with tea, how do you tell which side has which tea? 

There are very subtle 'touch and sight' clues that aren't apparent at first sight.

The handle has very slight ridges over one spout. Some other pots have a more obvious 'thumb stop' or knob on one side or the other.  
And you can barely see an impressed arrow on the left-hand galley pointing to one chamber. It is the chamber closest to the ridged side of the handle.

Also, you would think the lid would fit no matter which way you put it on. But it only fits one way. The clue is also a subtle arrow impressed into the claybody.
Next time you see one of these in an antiques store, check it out.

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