Calabre Teapot (Théière Calabre)
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).
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.
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.