Minton Secessionist teapots are very rare. Few were made and many have suffered from use over the years. I bought the blue and white teapot on Ebay many years ago : the smaller one was in a local auction house and almost black with tannin staining from many years of use. My restorer left it in a special solution for the best part of a year which drew out the staining and returned to its pristine state.

The Secessionist range did not have a specially designed teapot, so these are both standard Minton shapes, one slightly larger than the other. The decorator would have taken them from the Minton moulding shop where the items were moulded, and both shapes also appear regularly with floral non-Secessionist decoration.

The larger teapot is dated 1902 and has the pattern mark No 5. Many years after buying it, I discovered the teacup, saucer and plate which are also marked with pattern No 5. The blue and white design is fairly unusual for Secessionist and is directly influenced by the Viennese work of architects like Otto Wagner who sometimes clad his buildings in blue and white patterns.

The plate and teacup follow a similar design but here the wavy lines are moulded rather than applied using a slip technique.

The smaller teapot is decorated with a variation of the ‘square leaf’ design which often appears in Secessionist pottery and which almost certainly derives from Archibald Knox’s metalwork for Liberty and Co.

The ‘square leaf’ pattern is usually given the pattern number 46 but in this case the pattern number is 1. It seems likely that pattern No 1 is used for experimental pieces or when the designer is not sure what number to use. In other words, there is no logic to Pattern No 1.

 

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