Sadler Racing Car teapots
James Sadler & Sons Ltd was a British pottery manufacturer based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. It was established in 1882 by James Sadler, and operated until 2000 when it ceased production and the rights to the company’s name and designs were purchased by Churchill China. The company is perhaps most famous for its range of novelty-shaped teapots produced from the 1930s onwards.
The racing car teapots were first made in 1937, and production of the first batch lasted until the outbreak of World War II when production at the factory was switched to essential war work. They resumed work in 1945, and continued to manufacture the racing car teapots until 1952 when the majority of the factory was given over to working on items commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Sadler & Sons racing car teapots
The first batch of teapots, produced up until 1939, are all marked ‘Made In England’ along with the design registration number ‘820236’. They were produced in a number of colours, including green, yellow, cream, black, blue, grey, pink, and maroon (with green, yellow, cream by far the most common).
These early teapots also featured parts of both the car and its driver finished in a platinum lustre which looks like chrome plate, and feature the famous licence plate ‘OKT42’ . The earliest pots have a licence plate which reads 1937, as these were used as display models at trade shows during that year.
Although a very small number of pots were also produced using the platinum lustre after the War, a lack of silver and the need to lower production costs meant that most were produced in single colours without the painted licence plates. All teapots produced from 1945 onwards feature the Sadler back-stamp, and many also include the initials of the decorator.
How much are Sadler Racing Car teapots worth?
Racing car teapots are highly collectible, but their price depends heavily on their condition. The earliest (pre-war) models in the rarest colours such as pink and blue can sell for up to £400 - £500 in mint condition on auction sites such as eBay.
Later, good-condition models without the silver glaze can still fetch between £50 - £100.
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