A small brownish-red stoneware teapot, perforated inside and with a loop handle. It has a later silver spout and a silver lid with a wooden knop, which was probably added in the early 18th century to replace broken parts.

The teapot has an old handwritten label: 'Teapot belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh and brought to England by him.' It is the sort of teapot sent with consignments of tea for sampling it. The Chinese inscriptions read (from top to bottom and from right to left): 'Jing Xi Zhi'. Jingxi is the alternative name of Yixing, Jiangsu Province, a place famous for producing earthenware teapots. 'Zhi' could mean 'purchase', thus the whole sentence means 'Purchased at Jingxi'. The characters are incised in 'kai' (regular) style on the base of pots with a bamboo knife. The style of the inscription suggests a date from the late Ming to early Qing period (early to mid 17th century) but the association with Walter Ralegh is unlikely.

Object Details

ID: AAA6188
Collection: Decorative art
Type: Teapot
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: Late 17th century
Exhibition: Traders: The East India Company and Asia
People: Raleigh, Walter
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 75 x 140 x 80 mm
Parts: Teapot

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