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Hugo Maertens
©DIVA, Museum voor Edelsmeedkunst, Juwelen en Diamant Antwerpen  

The first teapots to come to Europe were quite small. This was not because tea was so expensive here, as is sometimes thought. It was more to do with the fact that the Chinese preferred small teapots. In seventeenth-century Europe they were first and foremost status symbols. They were only occasionally used for serving tea.