Royal Worcester
Aesthetic Teapot

Royal Worcester Porcelain Co. (England, est. 1751)
Aesthetic Teapot (Oscar Wilde) c. 1881-82
6.25 x 7 x 3.5″
Kamm Collection 1994.9.4
Photo: Tony Cunha

This Royal Worcester teapot is a satirical portrait of the 19th century writer Oscar Wilde (Irish, 1854-1900). The teapot presents alternate views of the same person–one side shows a young man and the other a young girl. The sunflower and the lily are specific references to Wilde and the Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century.

Much has been written about the origin and meaning of this Royal Worcester teapot. See Garth Clark’s interpretation in The Artful Teapot, (New York: Watson-Guptill, 2001), p. 173.