Small, delicate, finely modeled porcelain teapot in the form of on one side a dandy with bangs, long red hair, and a moustache, wearing a kind of pink artist's cap, his head tilted slightly right, his large collar bound with a loose pink tie over a smartly tailored green suit, with a large yellow sunflower on his left breast, his left arm bent and resting on his hip, forming the teapot's handle, his right arm slightly outstretched and bent at the elbow, with his right hand limp and pointed downward, forming the spout; on the other side, the teapot is in the form of a woman sporting a similar hairstyle, her hair also red, wearing a large white ruffled collar, a similar cap on her head, and a large white lily on her right breast over her fitted, green smocked gown, in opposition to her companion, it is her right arm that is bent to form the handle and her left arm is outstretched and bent at the elbow to form the spout; the head is removable, forming the cover, with a band of gilding around the foot.

“Aesthetic” or “Patience” Teapot

Designed by R. W. Binns, Modeled by James Hadley, Royal Worcester

1882

The Aesthetic or Patience teapot is renowned as the ultimate parody of Aesthetic sensibilities.


This small teapot features characters from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience, which premiered in 1881. Royal Worcester chose that form after critics hailed an Asian teapot as perfect design—an example they suggested people should “Live up to it!”


The teapot embodies the ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, a reaction against the Industrial Revolution.  This reform movement—whose battle cry was “art for art’s sake”—valued visual appeal over moral or social themes in all art, whether fine or decorative.