It didn’t take me very long to take notice of a fabulous account on Instagram called Trisha’s Teapots. If you are not familiar with Instagram, it is a photo-based social media platform connecting people all over the world through beautiful images and stories. If you love teapots that are unique and interesting, Trisha’s Teapots will fill your feed with the most fantastic pieces!
I was excited to explore novelty teapots with Trisha’s Teapots and find out more about the person fueling this whimsical account. I chatted with Trisha Remmerswaal Hayward to gain some insight into her vast collection of novelty teapots. Speaking with me from Halls Head, Australia, she tells me that she started her Instagram account back in 2017 with the goal of sharing her collection of over 1100 unique pieces and meeting other collectors. Trisha says she admires collections of all types, whether you collect owls, toby jugs, trios sets or salt and pepper shakers. She loves watching collections grow as her own collection has grown over the years.
How Did Your Collecting Journey Begin?
“It all started back in 1993 while working as a shop assistant. I have always worked in retail and as a teenager, on my lunch breaks, I would look at the department stores and look at all the china displayed in the glass cabinets. There were a few novelty teapots in those glass cabinets, I remember one was a black Rolls Royce car teapot, I just fell in love with it. A few years later on my birthday in August 1993, my parents bought me my first novelty teapot. Sadly, they have passed on now, which makes it even more special to me”.
On her Instagram account, Trish devotes Tuesdays to a feature called: “Teapot Tuesday ” when she posts a teapot from her collection or recently purchased with a little story to tell. Each teapot she posts will surprise you and intrigue you. From snake-shaped teapots and baby birds in a nest to an old lady in a bathtub, the assortment of her collection is captivating.
Are Some Teapots Hard to Find or Expensive?
Yes, some Novelty Teapots can be very expensive! These are usually British made, from a known manufacturer, and often are hand-painted with a ‘Limited Edition’ number on the base. They can cost many hundreds of dollars! Strangely enough though, even though Chinese makers produced thousands of unmarked low-cost novelty teapots in the 1990s, some of these can be hard to get – and I am continually surprised at finding one I had never seen before!
Do you have a favorite maker?
I love all teapots, but I do admire designers like Paul Cardew, Tony Carter, Tony Wood, Teapottery, Annie Rowe, Gary Seymour, Ringtons and Bluesky. Their teapots are so detailed and you can see the work and love they put into these teapots. They also can be hard to find, but when you find a teapot made by these designers it gives you so much joy seeing it displayed in your collection.
Are Novelty Teapots Recent?
Novelty Teapots seem to have been around for quite a while! The Chinese are credited with inventing the first Novelty Teapots around 1500 AD – usually rabbits, squirrels and the like, but were made entirely of clay and suffered from poor workmanship and consequently did not sell very well. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that the British began using Porcelain for their teapots, and the English company “Wedgwood” was the first to incorporate novelty designs for their teapots – including pineapples, dragons, birds and later houses. These teapots are now very rare and very expensive!!
Do you use your teapots?
I get asked this question quite a lot! No – I don’t use any of my teapots for making tea! With over 1,100 in my house I still use tea bags!
How Do You Manage A Collection So Large?
When any collection gets this large, organization is the key! I have three main rooms for my teapots – each with identical bookshelves lining the walls filled with them. Also, I try to put my teapots into categories – cats, birds, cars, clowns etc. etc. and lastly I keep a photo record of my whole collection on my phone should I be out somewhere and see a teapot that I’m not sure if I have or not!
What is Your Best Source For Teapots?
A lot of people ask me where I get so many novelty teapots! I go to a lot of flea markets (“swap meets “in Australia ), garage sales, collectors fairs, second-hand stores, thrift (op) shops, gift stores and the like – I also have friends and family (my ‘agents’ I call them) who are always on the lookout for me! I also have a lovely friend – also called Trish – who is always finding me weird and wonderful novelty teapots from all over the world!
Do you collect novelty teapots? Let us know in the comments below!
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