Baluster-shaped teapot of octagonal section, tapering from broad rounded shoulder to narrow spreading foot, with short straight octagonal neck. Short narrow spout moulded with flowering leafy stems, plain handle with three groups of narrow and two broad notches cut in thumb rest, pinched spur at lower terminal. Body slip-cast with row of eight blank horizontal panels around foot, surmounted by eight vertical relief panels of fantastical creatures and naked figures. Panels comprise, from right of handle; scene from Aesop's Fables illustrating fox and stork, surmounting figure astride a lion, above fruit basket; bearded head in profile, surmounting gryphon with dead bird in its mouth, above two seated figures flanking large heart; coat of arms bearing three fleurs-de-lys, surmounting stag and bird; reclining naked figure, surmounting unicorn; repeated Aesop's Fables scene with swan replacing fruit basket; huntsman with two hounds beneath bird in tree, above fruit basket; coat of arms with three quatrefoils, above stag and bird; reclining naked figure, surmounting unicorn. Shallow domed octagonal cover, with relief decoration of eight panels containing fantastic animals, including unicorn, stag, lion, stork, swan, double-headed eagle and gryphon. Animal finial with small pierced hole between forelegs. White body with soft brown iron specks, greenish tinge to glaze.
Clay Clay is an ancient, universal material. Dug out of the ground, it is basic stuff, formed by the elements, earth, water, air and fire. Its use is one of the oldest human artforms. Clay responds to the touch of your hand, it can be pushed and pulled, squeezed and pinched. Clay has no natural form of its own, and can be shaped into almost anything. It is tactile, inviting, immediate and intimate. When soft, it is marked by the slightest touch, yet once fired, it becomes fixed and permanent. A clay pot will survive for thousands of years, bearing the thumbprint of the potter who made it. Some makers are drawn by clay's physical appeal, its sensuous and tactile qualities. For others it is simply a means to an end, an incredibly diverse and expressive medium with the potential to do almost anything.
Place of creation
Bequeathed by Thomas Tylston Greg
© Manchester Art Gallery