The moulded fluted globular form of this black basalt stoneware teapot imitates Chinese stoneware teapots. It is ornamented with a Greek key pattern around the body; the lid is surmounted by a dog (or lion?) finial. Although similar to Wedgwood's black basalt wares, the teapot has the impressed 'Spode' mark on the base for the Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. A label in Dorothy Walker's handwriting inside the pot reads ‘Tea pot which belonged to the poet Rossetti from Kelmscott Manor’. Another label reads: ‘This teapot was used by the poet Rossetti at Kelmscott. To D [orothy] : Una Fielding’. Dr Una Fielding (1898–1969), a distinguished neuro-anatomist who worked in London, was a descendant of William Morris’s brother Thomas Rendall. The poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82), was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of artists in 1848, the beginning of a movement that greatly influenced the work of William Morris. He was a friend of Morris, with whom and shared the tenancy of Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire, from 1871 to 1874.
height — 14.6cm.