The distinctive ear-shaped handle of this teapot suggests that it was the work of the Staffordshire potter William Greatbatch (British, 1735-1813). Press-molded fruit basket patterns, such as this one, gained transatlantic popularity in the late eighteenth century.
The Mead’s collection of ceramic teapots owes much to the generosity of one woman: Winifred Earl Leffert (1903–1995), a book designer, watercolor painter, and philanthropist who married the Amherst alumnus Robert A. Arms, Class of 1927, in 1952. (A gallery in this museum and Amherst College’s Music Center bear their name.) Leffert inherited some of the teapots she donated from her first husband, Carleton Macy, and his former wife, Helen. Distinguished collectors in their own right, the Macys donated nearly two hundred pieces of English salt-glazed stoneware to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1934.
EEB, July 2011