Calabre Teapot (Théière Calabre)


Calabre Teapot (théière Calabre), 1754, slide 12

The most common form of teapot produced at Sèvres was the so-called théière Calabre (Calabre teapot), which was in production at Vincennes by December 1752. In the Fritzsche Collection, three examples can be found: Slide 12 (1754), Slide 28 (1761), and Slide 32 (1768). The Calabre teapot was such a popular form that “most of those listed simply as théières [teapots] after 1756 were probably of this form” (Savill 1988, 2:577). 


Calabre Teapot (théière Calabre), 1761, slide 28

Rosalind Savill notes that the Calabre teapot has a distinctive overall shape, with an “egg-shaped body,” a “slender spout,” and a “shallow domed cover.” The handle is usually “ear-shaped…but the smallest size has a simple scroll handle. Inside the spout the pot is pierced as a strainer.” Its size varied widely; six different sizes are known. The teapots in Slides 12, 28, and 32 have a distinctive “flower knop” (i.e., an “ornamental knob”) on the lid, which Savill notes was the norm until 1770 (1988, 2:577). 

Read more about the décor of the teapot to the left on this page.


Calabre Teapot, Litron Cup, and Saucer (théière Calabre, gobelet litron, soucoupe), 1767–68, slide 32


These teapots were named after Pierre Calabre, conseiller secrétaire du roi, who was a shareholder in the Charles Adam and Eloi Brichard Companies at Vincennes and Sèvres, beginning in 1750.

References: Savill 1988, 2:577, 3:972; Dawson 1994, 101; Sassoon 1991.