Collecting | Antique Silver Teapots


Lovingly polished to a lustrous shine, antique Silver teapots are a living record of the skill and devotion with which craftsmen decades ago designed and made functional objects for serving tea. There is something about a silver teapot that instantly transports me back to my grandmother’s house in Europe. I am blessed to have her teapot, and whenever I use it, I feel her presence.

That’s really the charm of antiques, whether you inherit them, or start your own collection.  Antiques have stories, they have a history.


Collecting antique silver teapots is a way to enjoy meaningful antiques with stories to tell. Join me in the thrill of the hunt and begin {or add to} your collection.

Fascinating History

Antique silver teapots are not only beautiful to look at, they are still very usable, and have a fascinating history. Tea was brought to Europe by Dutch and Portuguese traders in the 17th century, a beverage only the very well to do could consume.


Some scholars believe the design source for early teapots came from Islamic coffee pots used in the popular coffee houses in Europe, as for quite a few years teapots were in that same tall shape. Others believe teapot design was influenced by Chinese wine vessels, round in shape, which were shipped along with the teas from China.


Pots were initially made of clay or porcelain, it wasn’t until the reign of George II in the mid 1700’s that silver teapots appeared. Silver was durable, retained heat and could be embellished with engraved designs, embossed floral patterns and exquisite monograms, making each one a small work of original art. A  silver teapot was the most cherished possession of its owner, it sparkled in the light when used, and was a symbol of the owner’s prosperity and social standing. The pots were also a form of cash reserve, the silver pieces could be melted down and used as currency should the need arise.


Design Trends

Designs changed from simple round shapes to straight sided shapes, which were then replaced by oval shaped teapots in the late 1700’s.


Queen Victoria popularized taking afternoon tea for every class. Industrialization allowed less expensive silver plated teapots to be produced for the middle class so that they could serve afternoon tea in as gracious a manner as they could afford.


Every major trend in style was reflected in the silver teapots produced during the 1800’s and early 1900’s including: Renaissance, Gothic, Chinese, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau with its fluid floral motifs, and Art Deco. Whether you collect one style, or all of them, adding a beautiful pot to your collection will never lose its luster!


A collection of antique silver teapots keeps its value, will bring you great joy, and is something you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.  As a bonus, your collection will bring inherent beauty to life’s most meaningful occasions.  Creating a home surrounded by things you love is one of the best ways to express yourself.



What to Look For:

1. Condition: Depending on your budget, look for the best sterling or silver plated pots. Buy pots with glowing patina, a beautiful shape, and pieces that are largely undamaged. {some wear is to be expected on plated pieces of age}

2. Identification: Most antique pots will have a hallmark, or be marked sterling or quadruple plate.

3. Buy what you love. Monograms, floral designs, elegant shapes, all of these make a pot desirable. But it is the “love at first sight” that should help you decide to add a piece to your collection.


How To Care For Your Silver Teapots:

1. Use them. If you use your teapots, they will need less polishing, and develop a warm patina.

2. Wash them. Hand wash your teapots in warm water with non-lemon scented detergent and dry well. Leave the lid open for awhile to make sure moisture doesn’t get trapped inside.

3. Polish them: Polish your teapots with a gentle polish such as Goddard’s, Wright’s or Twinkle. Avoid Dips or electrolytic methods, these will strip your silver over time.




Silver Teapots were featured in my monthly article about Collecting Antiques for Romantic Homes Magazine this month.

Learn about the sister of silver teapots Tea Strainers

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop

7 thoughts on “Collecting | Antique Silver Teapots”

  1. Ginger J Valdes

    Oh Lidy, your posts always inspire and make my day! Imagine my thrill to see your home featured in the recent French Country Style magazine. Now I will rush to get a copy of Romantic Homes. I believe in dreaming BIG!

  2. Thank you Ginger! The French Country Style is actually a re-issue of their most popular one. It’s a huge thrill to see our living room on the cover again!

  3. I love your grandmother’s teapot Lidy, the wooden handle is graceful and of course, very practical – it wouldn’t get hot! I also loved the article about tea strainers; my 20 year old son is passionate about good tea and only makes loose leaf tea, but to my chagrin does not use a strainer. I must confess I don’t enjoy ‘textured’ tea !

  4. RhonniB

    my great uncle kindly passed along his grandmother’s Navarre tea service – monogrammed – and I love it!! only thing missing is the sugar bowl (and tray!) so I throw sugar cubes in the waste bowl, haha! but I’ll keep haunting antique stores til I find one!! thank you for your lovely post! I adore sterling – so those posts are always my favorite!

  5. This is so beautifully written…. I truly need to slow down a bit for some Tea Time in my life! Thank you for reminding me…

  6. What a fascinating history of teapots. I never gave it much thought, but now that you mention it, there’s so much that happened in that era. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo, which is Mexico’s defeat of French forces (maybe a delicate event to celebrate with a bunch of French people, but they didn’t take it badly). Anyway, I pointed out that chocolate was brought to Europe from Mexico in the 16th century. That whole period of the Renaissance, that started with Columbus in 1492, really made lasting changes in our lives.
    And your teapots are GORGEOUS.

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