The first basic teapot design was first created by porters during the Yuan Dynasty. History indicates that it was probably derived from wine pots and ceramic kettles that were made of metals such as bronze. However, the basic design of the teapot has scarcely evolved in close to a half millennium. Even in this 21st century when tea preparation has shifted from using loose leaf tea to using teabags, the teapot has remained largely unchanged and ubiquitous. If you have an interest in collecting or assembling antique teapots, possibly, you are looking for information on how to know a date/period when various pots were made.

If you want to know how to date antique teapots, here is a simple answer- it is difficult to know the exact date when an antique teapot was made, but you can estimate the period it was made based on their shapes and the numbers/symbols on them. For example, teapots made until the 1700s had a rounded shape. After the 1700s, teapots began to take the pear shape. By the 1800s, teapots took straight sides. After that, they went back to the round shape, but this time they were fatter than those made before the 1700s. Another way of dating teapots is to look at features. Antique teapots made in early 1700 didn't feature glazing under the lid and the inside of the teapot rim.

Dating an Antique Teapot

Other things that might help you know the period a teapot was designed;

  • Check to see if there are any trademarks, names, or other numbers on the bottom of a teapot. These marks/symbols could lead you to the manufacturer, which will give you an idea when the manufacturer existed or made teapots of similar designs to the one you have.
  • Also, you can compare the teapot to pictures of teapots in collectibles and antiques books and magazines. Also, there are online sites that sell antiques. You may find documentation and information on such sites regarding what year it was made. The design and type of spout can also help you date antique teapot.
  • The size of the teapot, although not straightforward, may give you a clue on when a teapot was made as well. For instance, teapots made in the 18th century had a smaller shape because tea was expensive at that time. Therefore, only small amounts were brewed, which explains why the teapots had smaller sizes.

To date an antique teapot, you must assess its condition. And although most of the antique teapots should show signs of wear and tear, the condition of the teapot should show its quality. Of course, you will not find teapots that were used in the 17th century, since it is highly unlikely that any of these are lying in anyone’s basement, but you can find teapots that were used several decades or one century ago. cast brass tea cup and teapot set with tray

Keep in mind that you may not be able to estimate the exact time when an antique teapot was made, but at least several things can give you a clue.