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Wedgwood family teapot to go under the hammer

Jackie Rothwell, valuer from 1818 Auctioneers with a Georgian teapot that belonged to two famous families.

A silver Georgian teapot which produced brews for the Darwin-Wedgwood families, is up for auction this month.

It could sell for up to £500 in an online sale by 1818 Auctioneers, which runs from today until January 31.

The teapot has London hallmarks for 1792 and a maker’s mark for silversmith Michael Plummer who worked out of Gutter Lane, London between 1791 and 1795.

According to 1818 Auctioneer’s silver and jewellery valuer, Jackie Rothwell, the London hallmark suggests the Wedgwood’s first acquired the teapot after 28 years of marriage. They married in 1764.

Jackie Rothwell says an inscription on the base of the teapot states it belonged to Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Allen, wife of Josiah Wedgwood II, the son of the English potter Josiah Wedgwood.

Their daughter, Emma Wedgwood, married her first cousin Charles Darwin.

“The other name on the inscription is Charles and Emma’s son, Leonard Darwin, with the date July 1898,” added Jackie.

“The teapot subsequently passed down through the generations of the Darwin family.”

1818 Auctioneer’s silver and jewellery valuer says teapots tell us a lot about their owners and shifts in fashion, even today.

Jackie said: “This teapot belonged to two famous families who inter-married.

“We can only guess at the conversations that were had over a brew; from how to keep the Wedgwood business going to Darwin’s views on the origins of man.

“Teapots would’ve been found in most upper class and middle class homes from the 18th century onwards, when tea became the country’s most popular drink.

“The nation’s love of tea also led to the prosperity of companies that made tea cups, saucers and services, like Wedgwood.”

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