The Self-pouring Teapot
Originally designed and produced as a promotional item for his industrial customers, the teapot became so popular that a production of several thousand was commissioned from Doulton & Co. of Burslem, Shropshire and Joseph Dixon & Sons of Sheffield to make ceramic and silver versions respectfully.
The teapot works by a pumping mechanism and was designed for the large Victorian family who required large teapots. The lid is raised then depressed with the finger covering the small hole in the top of the lid. This generates pressure within the teapot, hence expelling the hot water through the tea leaves and out of the spout.
The curved spout meant the teapot did not have to be lifted, and the added bonus of the water being forced through the tea leaves in the bottom of the teapot, is thought to enhance the flavour of the tea.
The teapots can be found worldwide and were supplied to Queen Victoria in 1887 as well as the Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark) and to Grand Duke Serge of Russia. The teapots are known to be at several locations in the UK including Betty's famous teashop in Harrogate, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia and frequently appear on E-bay.