A tiny black basalt teapot with engine turned decoration on the body and lid. The lid is pierced twice, the second hole is underneath the finial. The Sybil figure finial is very finely moulded with minute details (eyes, toes etc.). The fluted handle has moulded acanthus type leaf decoration at top and at lower terminal. The spout is a tapered cone type with recessed end designed to accommodate a silver fitting. The foot and base have been turned. There is an undulating gallery around rim/shoulder. The spout has a simple hand-pierced seven hole strainer (though two of the holes overlap).
The distinctive style of this teapot is closely matched by two larger examples illustrated in "Black Basalt" by D. Edwards (1994) page 125, and also "The Makers of Black Basaltes" by M.H. Grant (1910/1967) page 319. Both of these examples is attributed to Edmund John Birch, of Shelton, Staffordshire, England. fl. 1797 to 1814). The teapot offered here is not marked but it was possibly made by Birch, around 1797 to 1805.
101mm high to top of finial (approx. 4")
A small piece of the inner rim on lid is missing. The end of the spout (last 1/4") is chipped off. No cracks. No restoration.