The cube teapot is a teapot whose main purpose was to be used on a ship. The cube shape of the teapot would stabilise it so that it wouldn't roll over and scald the person making the drink, whereas conventional curved teapots would roll over when the ship rocked from side to side.
The cube teapot was invented by Englishman Robert Crawford Johnson (1882–1937), who was responsible for the design and registered "Cube Teapots Ltd" in 1917. He perfected the design, one that did not drip, poured easily, was chip resistant and stacked together for easy storage. With no spout or projecting handle the cube teapot looked exactly as it sounds - a cube.
The cube teapot was first put into production in 1920, in earthenware by Arthur Wood of Stoke-on-Trent, England. It was later licensed to other firms including Wedgwood & Co Ltd. and silversmiths Napper and Davenport of Birmingham, whose silver version is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was also produced in T H Green's Cornishware.
In 2000, there was a touring exhibition on cube teapots, sponsored by Twinings, at Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool and Leicester's New Walk Museum. Anne Anderson wrote a book on the teapots, The Cube Teapot (Richard Dennis, 1999).
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