The Twining Teapot Gallery
Nowhere can you see the range and variety of British teapots better than at Norwich Castle Museum and art Gallery. The museum is home to Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service's collection of over 3,000 teapots.
From the Elegant to the Quirky
Many of the Castle Museum's teapots are on display in the Twining Teapot Gallery and range from the elegant to the quirky. They date from the 1730s right through to the 1980s.
In the Twining Teapot Gallery you can see a teapot with two spouts, as well as teapots in all sorts of shapes - a first world war tank, a cabbage, a castle, bamboo and a monkey to give just a few examples. They also come in all sizes (from miniature teapots no higher than your finger to giant teapots longer than your forearm).
A large proportion of teapots made today are mass-produced. Many of the early teapots in the museum were made and decorated by hand, however - sometimes by children. Other teapots have a 'marbled' appearance which was achieved by mixing different coloured clays together (called 'Agate Ware'). Later on teapots were decorated with transfers - a technique which is still widely used today.
Some of the teapots were made to mark a special event - one commemorates Twinings 275th anniversary, and another an election campaign of the 1770s.
Others teapots from the 1770s warn the tea drinkers, 'Let Your Conversation be upon the Gospell of Christ'. Don't forget that at this time teatime was one of the few informal social occasions when young men and women could meet each other and this, no doubt, led to a fair amount of gossip and flirtation around the tea table.