Thursday, August 4, 2011

Saucer of the Week: English Stand, Part II

This week's Saucer of the Week is of yet another stand, continuing the theme of my last installment in the series.  My inspiration for again featuring a stand, as opposed to a saucer, was a comment I received from a perspicacious reader who was convinced that the stand I featured in my previous post was most definitely designed to hold an oval teapot.

And right he was.

Our early nineteenth century English stand and teapot

In our cupboards at Darlington House we have an example of such a stand that has not become separated from its intended teapot.  It is identical in form to the stand I featured last week, albeit decorated differently, with gilt-painted banding and flora.  We found the stand with its accompanying teapot in an antiques shop in Hudson, New York, a decade or so ago.  Both stand and teapot are in perfect condition, and appear to have been little used since they were made almost two hundred years ago.

The teapot and stand, united as intended

Having a stand to sit underneath a teapot ensures that any errant drips from said teapot will be contained by the stand, instead of falling unfortunately upon one's linens or polished tables.  It also helps insulate the table's surface from the boiling heat of a freshly filled teapot.

How delightfully clever our ancestors were, and how frustratingly humdrum it is that today such stands are not routinely provided with teapots sold in most retail establishments.

I have been so deeply moved in writing this post that I have decided that it is my duty to mount a campaign for the return of teapot stands.  And I have already come up with a name for it, too: The Society for the Preservation and Reinvigoration of the Teapot Stand, (abbreviated as "SPaRTS").  I urge you, Dear Reader, to join me in my noble pursuit of this vitally important initiative.

Can I count on your support?

Photographs by Boy Fenwick


  1. You can count on me for support -- I often place a plate under my teapot -- mostly to protect the table rather than drips (I'm a careful pourer). I LOVE your teapot!!!! It is absolutely perfection -- and definitely when it comes to having a stand too!

  2. Hello Reggie:
    We can certainly be added to the list, for we will support anything [and in this regard a teapot stand seems to fit the bill perfectly]which restores civility to everyday living. Clearly having the perfectly fitting stand to protect the furniture, to prevent splashes and spills is just what is needed to raise the standards surrounding Afternoon Tea which, in our view, has now become generally a rather poor imitation of its former self.

  3. Reggie, you may count on my support for SPaRTS. The teapot and stand are exquisite. The Queen Mother, as I'm sure you know, used an old "brown Betty" when she was not entertaining. It had been a gift from a subject (I think) years before.

  4. You can count on my support!

    This teapot and stand are lovely. I would love to go through the cabinets at Darlington House and look at all the dishes. Blog posts with pictures are the next best thing.

  5. Please sign me up. I want to be a member of SPaRTS! Jest aside, this is a very useful and practical idea and I'm not exactly sure why it fell from favor with porcelain manufacturers in the 20th century.

    I would welcome the addition of a teapot to add to the newest stand in my collection, and I did recently locate one, would you believe. Alas, the dealer thought it too precious to let go for less than $500, which was outside of my budget for a pot that had a repaired lid and a damaged spout.

    Reggie, what is your opinion on adding pieces to your collection that would complete it, albeit damaged? Your teapot and stand are stunning!

  6. Hi, Reggie - I very much like the pattern on your teapot - it looks as though it could be a design from a classic Greek frieze. You can certainly count on my support! Is this a tax-deductible cause?

  7. That's a fine looking teapot Reggie!
    Love the heavy gold details and the shape is perfection.

    SPaRTS sounds like it could be fun...

  8. For some unkown reason, I never developed a taste for coffee, but I love tea. Currently, I am drinking iced tea, but I drink hot tea when the weather allows. Ideally, it is not a bag in a mug (although a stylish "beaker" is not objectionable), but loose tea in a pot. The stand is very handy and much appreciated.

  9. Your teapot stand and it's gorgeous pot deserve to be the standard bearer for you new in which I am thoroughly and one hundred percent behind! Viva la SPaRTS!!!
    xo J~

  10. gorgeous. you always teach me something new.
    style maven reggie darling.
    please tell darling pompey 'hello' from me.
    one of these days I will send him a german treat.

  11. What a lovely teapot and stand. Please let me that you use it. It's too beautiful to sit on a shelf.

  12. Dear Reggie,

    I want to join SPaRTS. I don´t join many clubs, but I like this one.

  13. Dear Reggie, the hand-painted gold on your pot and stand is in amazing condition.
    One would be glad to join the SPaRTS.
    Now you might find a wonderfully recherche ornate silver trivet to go under your stand (or would that be too much?). I find that any porcelain dish under a hot pot eventually warms up and can still transmit the heat to your tabletop - plus I'll use any excuse to get out more silver!

  14. As a brewed-loose tea drinker I heartily endorse your SPaRTS movement!! Let the Campaign begin! Btw, St.Paul's, Groton, or Middlesex?


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