Teapots – china or metal? Should we care?


Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the humble teapot. Not any old teapot of course but this classic of Twentieth Century design, the above illustrated tea-for-one, hinged-lid metal teapot. This revolutionary reworking of an English tradition was meant to wipe away china teapots forever but, thanks to the tea god and sensible people everywhere, it didn’t succeed.

I don’t know for sure but I think this well known monstrosity was created in the 1960s when the old order of things was being pushed aside with ruthless excitement.

Many bright ideas from that time have lost their appeal,  tower blocks, nylon shirts and audio cassettes to name but three. On the other hand we now love and honour the mini – both the automobile and the skirt – The Kinks and even Roger Moore, well let’s not push this,  but even though we mostly hate it, have been injured and annoyed by it, we still have to endure these dreadful metal teapots.

I suspect the person who invented it is now fabulously wealthy and the recipient of numerous design awards but if so then the World is an unfairer place than I had ever imagined. Maybe it is not too late though for revenge.

The metal teapot probably came into fashion alongside the teabag which could be chucked into it so easily along with boiling water which then heats the handle and the lid to scalding degrees so that you can barely hold it. The hinged lid though is the main design disaster – it just was not made to sit flush and it was always useless at preventing the tea from pouring out of the top of the pot all over the table, your hand, if not more delicate body parts, and almost always into the saucer where you would then be stranded with a dripping teacup and a stained crotch.

You may have guessed by now that I came across one of these vile objects recently and you would be correct.I was in a small restaurant that really should know better.  Luckily, I was alert to the metal teapots short-comings but my companion was less fortunate as this photograph reveals.

Can we ban these terrible metal teapots please? Not the big, canteen-type metal pots, they serve a great cup of tea but these nasty little leaky ones. We have lived with them for much too long and they don’t work

I wonder how many other pieces of bad design have survived because we don’t complain about them and I am not referring to the latest Lewes news either: the police have been taking down photographs of a penis decorated by a yellow ribbon which have been posted anonymously (well the poster left a clue if he is ever asked to join an identity parade) around town….What ever is happening to our shared aesthetics! What do you think?

4 Comments

  1. I assume you are referring to this story that has been on the BBC News website concerning photographs of a penis tied up in a yellow ribbon that have been posted around my hometown of Lewes. It can't have been me because I am hopeless at tying bows and, anyway, it would never have been yellow.

    According to the BBC:

    "A person who put up enlarged photographs of male private parts around a town in Sussex is being sought by police.

    Several large images of a man's penis with a yellow bow tied around it have been taken down from car parks and places close to schools in Lewes.

    Sussex police have interviewed people at offices close to where the A3 and A4-sized images were found.

    The posters have also been sent off for fingerprint analysis.
    Continue reading the main story
    “If this is a self-portrait the artist won't be in a hurry to be identified”

    A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We are aware of these posters and a local PCSO [Police Community Support Officer] has removed a few, but we have not received any formal complaints".

    Now can we pleased get back to those metal teapots!

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