Of square section, with gilt metal handle and mounts, each face is painted with figure subjects within double line borders; the shoulders decorated with sprays of lotus, height 17cm, length 18cm.
Chinese porcelains began to arrive in England in the 16th Century.
The secret of manufacturing hard-paste porcelain remained in the east until the early 18th Century; although it is well documented that attempts were being made to do so as early as the late 17th Century.
For this reason, these objects were highly prized by discerning collectors.
The vessel appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, an inventory recording an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1643-1703).
The inventory lists: ‘A Large ffour square Tea pott and a little square Top, Garnisht on the Neck handle and spout End with a Chaine to it’.