Step 1 – check the signs of wear and tear
Before you even try to date back an antique, you should confirm the teapot in question is vintage. If it is ceramic or porcelain, does it have cracks on the surface? If it is made of silver, does it have worn spots?
On its inside, you should see discoloration because of steeping tea for many years. Also, the handle should show signs of wear due to many years of handling. A teapot in tip-top condition is unlikely to be vintage.
Step 2 – Check for markings
Check the base of the pot. Are there any markings? Markings can help you in determining the manufacturer of a teapot and the possible year it was made. You may need to use reference books and magazines to know what the markings stand for.
Look for books that list pottery marks or silver marks. You may not be able to memorize most of them; so focus on the marks on your teapot.
Step 3 – Look at the shape of the teapot
As we mentioned earlier, you can estimate the age of a teapot based on its shape. In the 18th century, teapots went through significant changes.
The round shape of the teapots we see today was popular between 1730 and 1760. The pear shape was popular from 1750 to 1755. From 1790-1810, most of the teapots had straight sides. From 1810-1835, the teapots grew rounder and the sides widened. Teapots made from the 19th century to date have assumed a rounder shape.
However, this is not to mean that just because a teapot has straight sides, it is antique. Teapots come in a variety of shapes. However, the more unusual and interesting the shape of the teapot is, the more antique it might be.
Step 4 – Analyze the features of the teapot
One of the major features of antique teapots is the uneven nature of the holes leading to the spout. If a teapot features three or four holes, this could indicate it dates back to the 18th century. The holes should be uneven. If they have perfect, rounded holes, the teapot is most likely to be made in the 20th century.
Also, analyze the lid. How well does it fit into the teapot? Has it worn out because of many years of usage? If the glaze on the front part of the lid of a ceramic or porcelain pot is still perfect, the pot is unlikely to be old.
NOTE- the more antique a teapot is, the higher its value and thus the higher the cost. Therefore, know that teapots made a few decades ago might not cost as much as those made one century ago. However, the value is based on the condition and authenticity of a teapot.