What's for sale?
This is an early example of the patented cube teapot, made during the 1920s by Arthur Wood pottery of Stoke and Trent, England. It is the original, small version finished in a high-gloss, iridescent glaze over a cream base and hand-painted, gold-coloured highlights. It holds enough for two cups of tea.
The design was perfected by its inventor Robert Crawford Johnson and registered by him in 1917. The cube is in fact the largest-selling, patented tea pot to date. It incorporated a non-drip spout, cutaway handle and locking lid into a compact cube which had obvious advantages in professional catering. The teapot was famously used by the Cunard Line in their ships and by the Lyons Corner House tea rooms.
The Cube was eventually made by several manufacturers under licence with a wide variety of colours, glazes and decorations, including Arthur Wood, Gibson & Sons, E Brain & Co (Foley Bone China), Wedgwood & Co, George Clews, TG Green, Myott, Grimwades, Jackson and Godling.
The cube form was also copied to other items such as water jugs , milk jugs, sugar bowls, etc. Versions were also made in metal, notably T Wilkinson & Sons, who made silver plated examples with handles in ebony and cane. The Cube teapot is a complete area of collecting all on its own.
Who made it and when?
It was made in the 1920's by the Arthur Wood pottery of Stoke & Trent, Staffordshire. Arthur Wood was the first producer of the cube teapot, followed by other manufacturers over time. The first trade advert for the cube was by Arthur Wood in 1920, in the pottery gazette. The maker's mark is possibly from the second half of the 1920s and reads:
- THE CUBE
- BRIT:PAT:No 110951.
- REG:No 693783.
- made by
- ARTHUR WOOD, LONGPORT, ENG:
- CUBE TEAPOTS Ltd, LEICESTER.
- U.S.A. PAT: 13800631:5:21
What condition is it in?
- In fair to good condition
- There are no chips or cracks
- There is heavy crazing throughout
- The gold-coloured highlights are faded in places
- There are four obvious firing faults on the lid
What are the measurements?
- 8cm high (3.15 inches)
- 8.5cm square (3.35 inches)
- 391 grams
- 300ml capacity
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