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Tea For One Brown Betty


A charming little vintage Brown Betty teapot with two cream coloured bands - pictured at the forefront of the image. Base marked "L B Made in England".


Original Brown Betty teapots are distinguished by two common characteristics: their red Etruria Marl clay, and a rich brown manganese glaze known as Rockingham. The clay is unique to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, and after its discovery in 1695, the pottery industry – The Potteries – sprung up around these clay seams.

The Brown Betty is the archetypal everyday teapot, and its heyday of design lies in the first part of the twentieth century.  Affordable, utilitarian and unpretentious, it was to become a design classic. The red Etruria Marl clay resulted in a ceramic with high heat retention and so naturally suited the making of teapots; while the Rockingham glaze - creating a streaky finish as it was fired - helped disguise any tea dribbles while the pot was in use. Come the 1920s, it was every household’s teapot of choice, being produced with varying striped bands of colour and marbling. By 1926 the Staffordshire pottery industry, such as the potteries of James Sadler & Sons and Joseph Bourne & Sons Ltd, was making near half a million Brown Betty teapots per week. The original Brown Betty with its mottled glaze and bands of colour is no longer in production, yet we constantly strive to source these early twentieth century vintage classics, and in as near perfect condition as is possible.

Note: Brown Bettys were everyday kitchen teapots, and so were not subject to rigorous production control, like the bone china teapots of the age. Therefore they often contain marks fired into the glaze, over-glazed chips, pre-firing smudges and some historical glaze crazing - which is all integral to their character.

Country of origin: UK

Date: c.1930 - 1950

Material: Staffordshire red Marl clay 

Dimensions: Height 10cm Diameter 10cm Width from handle to tip of spout 17cm

Condition: excellent.

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