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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Measham Ware teapot


Marc Drogin has been collecting Measham ware [1875-1914] for a few years and has some 20 pieces, most of them teapots and tea kettles bearing bespoke messages, two or so pieces from the brief revival in the 1970s, and a mug and double-spout teapot he’s not certain of.  They fill his kitchen and make him smile every time he walks out there for a mug of chai.

The photo shows him with his 24-cup 1.5 gallon 15-1/2 inch tall teapot inscribed BOROUGH OF FOWEY 1797.  It’s a puzzler because the design didn’t come into existence until 1875 so it’s probably a piece ordered in 1897 to celebrate the centennial of... well, they forgot to say.  The history of Fowey suggests the only thing worth raising a cup of tea to in 1797 was the founding of the Congregational Church Chapel.  So that may have been the reason behind it.

The teapot sits on the hob beside another, a revival piece, only 4 inches high.

Marc doesn’t know anyone who collects Measham ware, so its a rather solitary existence.  And in all the world of reference materials there seems to be only one publication — a stapled slim paperback — devoted to it.  Surely he can’t be the only American with such esoteric taste?