Collector’s Corner: An Accidental Collection

Collector's Corner: An Accidental Collection
Canton Rose Mandarin traveling set, China, c. 1880. Photograph courtesy of Unjeria Jackson, M.D.

A dear friend and colleague gave me my first true teapot in 1980. It was a Brown Betty, which was perfect for brewing great tea that we often shared. To my dismay, I no longer have that teapot or any photos of it. It was at a time that was many years before I was aware that I would become a collector of teapots. Any collector will tell you that it’s not something that you just decide to do one day. There is usually some connection or special experience that sparks the interest. I soon became a new mom and started my residency in obstetrics and gynecology, so there were no thoughts of collecting anything, but I still continued to enjoy drinking tea.

Collector's Corner: An Accidental Collection
Lenox teapot with silver overlay, USA, c. early 1900s. Photograph courtesy of Unjeria Jackson, M.D.

My first purchases were somewhat accidental. After moving into a new house, the current handyman continued to provide services. He and his wife owned a small local antiques shop. As I was looking for some items for my home, I spotted a few teapots that I thought were beautiful. So, I purchased several. During my next trip to the shop, the owner said she had acquired more teapots and that I must take a look. Well, that was it! I had been bitten by the proverbial collecting bug.