Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tempests in Teapots
History tells us that King George IV of England was one of the first English collectors of teapots. Although he was not thought of positively in any way as a ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, he was known to have a flare for fashion and good manners. His life was one of extravagance. He had a sense of style, leisure, and taste. Tea as a beverage was rare and expensive, available to only the elite and wealthy during the time of his rein. A Google search for teapots associated with George IV reveal a gathering of beautiful, expensive, sterling silver teapots. It appears that entire lines of teapots were designed during the George IV period. In connection to King George IV, we also discover that one of his contemporaries was Gioachino Rossini, a composer who wrote the scores for many operas. It's interesting to note that one of the characteristic mannerisms in Rossini's orchestral scoring is a long building sound that has been compared to creating "tempests in teapots by beginning in a whisper and rising to a flashing, glittering storm". And really, that is the way it works! Many people today still collect teapots and other beautiful tea accouterments. For hundred's of years, tea and its service has been a beautiful art.
Do you have a favorite teapot? Or a collection, perhaps?