A Dutch silver teapot
Nicolaas van Nuys
The Hague, 1775
601 grams all in; 18,5 cm. high
The naturalistically chased teapot in the shape of a pumpkin is raised on a circular foot, ribbed into panels. The hinged lid, shaped as a leaf ornament, is surmounted by a wood ball-shaped finial with silver pinnacle. The double c-scroll wood handle is mounted in silver. The spout is slightly bent and moulded. Fully marked below the body. Also struck with a 1795 control mark for Delft and an 1807 control mark.
Nicolaas van Nuys was born in 1742 as the son of Hendr. Nicholasz. and Johanna Beens. He married Beegje Maas in 1773. He remarried Agatha van der Veen in 1796. In 1795 he lived in the Wagenstraat in The Hague.
Tea culture in the Netherlands
Due to merchants of the East India Company (VOC), who came across tea ceremonies in China and Japan, tea was introduced in the Netherlands. They saw potential in this commodity and started transporting large quantities to Amsterdam, where it was stored in canal houses and then auctioned at high prices. Therefore, tea used to be an exclusive drink for the higher classes. Initially, tea was considered to be a medicinal beverage, which was promoted by doctors like Anthoni van Leeuwenhoek, Boerhave, Tulp and Bontekoe. Tea would purify the blood, stimulate the mind and thus enrich the East India Company stakeholders. At the end of the seventeenth century tea was still a luxury product, drunk by wealthy ladies, who organised tea parties. In the beginning of the eighteenth century the popularity of tea increased. A special room in the house and even outside the house was furnished with a tea table and all the necessary accessories. Still standing tea domes at the river Vecht are relics of our tea drinking past. The accessories consisted of precious porcelain and silver items, which stressed the high status of tea.
Silversmiths were commissioned to make small silver pots and large silver water kettles with burners on stands. Hot water from the latter ones was poured into the small silver pots, containing the tea. Furthermore, tea caddies (with locks) and tea chests with two or three silver caddies were ordered, for several tea blends.
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