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Brown Betty Teapot Brews Splendid Tea |

Brown Betty Teapot Brews Splendid Tea

Q: This is a photo of a small round earthenware teapot that was my grandmother’s. It stands about 5 inches tall and holds 1 3/4 cups. It is decorated with a shiny brown glaze over red-brown clay. Marked on the bottom is an oval shape divided by an X and the word “Ford.” It is in mint condition, and it makes delicious tea.

What can you tell me about my teapot?


A: You have a Brown Betty teapot made by Oxford Pottery Company in Cambridge, Ohio. It was founded in 1913 and produced dinnerware, kitchenware and utility ware. Brown Betty teapots were made with red clay. Manganese used in the process created the brown glaze, which is known as Rockingham glaze. Potters discovered the procedure in Staffordshire, England, in the late 1600s. By the 1800s, the brown ware glaze was produced at the Rockingham Factory located in England, thus the name Rockingham glaze. It is believed the combination of red clay, brown glaze and the round shape contributed to brewing good tea and helping retain heat. The shape of the teapot allowed loose tea leaves to swirl in the pot and create fragrant tea that was not bitter.

A. O. C. Ahrendts acquired Oxford Pottery stock in the 1920s. The name was changed to Universal Potteries in 1934. In 1954, it no longer produced teapots, kitchenware and dinnerware and only made tiles. In 1976, the factory closed.

Your circa-1913 teapot would probably fetch $50 to $75.

Q: This is the mark that is on the bottom of a round porcelain-covered vegetable bowl. It is decorated with pink and blue flowers; it has handles; and the lid has a scalloped edge.

Any information you can provide about the maker, age and value of my bowl will be greatly appreciated.

A: Theodore Haviland pottery made you vegetable bowl. Theodore Haviland founded his company in Limoges, France, in 1890. The reigns of the factory were passed to grandson, William Haviland, and then to his grandson, Theodore Haviland II. The company is still in business.

Your bowl was probably part of a complete service of dinnerware. The mark you provided was used from 1920 to the 1940s.

Your covered vegetable bowl might be worth $75 to $125.

 Tea brewed in Brown Betty teapots created fragrant hot tea.  Theodore Haviland is a family business.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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