Well you probably wouldn’t suspect that it would be located in Tennessee, but it is.  We traveled to Trenton to see this unique collection.  When we arrived, we noticed the teapot signs, “Trenton, TN, Home of the World’s Largest Teapot Collection.” 

Where would we find this special collection?  Right in the middle of the town at City Hall! 

Who would have guessed that the collection would encompass teapots from at least eighteen countries including France, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Africa, Egypt, Thailand, Singapore, Ceylon, Hong Kong, and Indochina?

Dent Partee, curator of the Collection, relates, “Doctor Frederick C. Freed donated these to the City of Trenton.  He had them in his office and condo.  When his brother asked him what he was going to do with them he said, ‘The New York Metropolitan of Art would like them.’ His brother said, ‘Why don’t you give them to the City of Trenton?’  Dr. Freed said, ‘I like the idea,’ and with that he started brining them to Trenton.”

World’s Largest Teapot Collection - 525 Teapots

These teapots are special night light teapots know as Veilleuse-Theieres. The earliest veilleuses were made as food warmers with a bowl instead of a teapot on a stand. They were used for porridge and soup, and used in hospitals for patients.  Later the teapot replaced the bowl and the Veilleuse-Theieres came into use.  They were used mainly for brewing and serving herb teas primarily to babies at night, and also provided light for babies throughout the night.

 

Aristocrats and families of distinction naturally used Veilleuse-Theieres that were more ornate and decorative.  These first appeared around 1830 in France.
Most Veilleuse-Theieres are godets.  A “godet” is a goblet or a rounded vessel that was filled with oil and a wick floated on top.  This enabled the teapot to stay warm.
In the collection, there are some rare finds---the oldest is a night light teapot that dates around 1750.  Another rare teapot depicts Napoleon’s African campaign. Another is from Louis XVI collection and is the only known teapot made in the likeness of a person.  There are over 500 teapots.  Each has a story to tell and the town of Trenton will be happy to accommodate you when you arrive.

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