Etched Pewter Teapot

c. 1900
$228 $380 USD
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W: 4.25" D: 6.5" H: 7.5"
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For one short decade, from around 1910 to 1920, pewter was all the rage in China’s bustling commercial centers of Shanghai and Canton. Drawn to pewter’s soft, silvery glow, artists took advantage of the alloy’s malleability and low melting point to fashion beautifully crafted teakettles and canisters that rivaled the workmanship of fine porcelain. This eight-sided teakettle is delicately patterned with panels of Mandarin characters and floral designs, bordered by wave-like scrollwork. Surprisingly, the teapot's simple copper alloy handles are affixed to the pewter body by copper coins embedded into the shoulders. The kettle's simple feet appear to have melted - possibly after someone unfamiliar with the properties of pewter placed it on a stove. A delightful find from a highly collected period, this kettle is a spectacular example of Republic Era pewter.

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