Shawnee Tom the Piper’s Son teapot
A Shawnee Tom the Piper’s Son teapot is a vintage novelty teapot produced by the American manufacturer Shawnee Pottery.
The Shawnee Pottery company was founded in Zanesville, Ohio in 1937, and produced a wide range of ceramic tableware and other goods until its closure in 1961. The company as renowned for a series of novelty teapots produced during the 1930s and 40s, with many designs created by the small crew of key personnel that remained whilst the factory was used by the U.S Air Force during World War II.
The teapot is based on the children’s nursery rhyme ‘Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son’ which has its roots in an early 18th century military recruitment song, and was first printed in its most famous form in 1795. In the rhyme, a young boy named Tom steals a pig to eat and is beaten as a punishment.
The Shawnee Pottery Tom the Piper’s Son teapot
The teapot measures 7 ½” tall, and features Tom’s head on the teapot’s lid (wearing a pointed hat with a feather and a bow tied around his neck).
The teapot also features two arms poking out from either side; under the right arm he carries a pig (as described in the nursery rhyme) and in the left hand he holds an ear of corn.
Each of the teapots is marked with the stamp "Tom the Piper's Son Patented U.S.A".
How much is a Shawnee Tom the Piper’s Son teapot worth?
As with much vintage Shawnee pottery, the company’s novelty teapots are highly sought after by collectors. The price depends on both the condition and the colour scheme, as there can be large variations in the colours used to decorate the teapots.
The best (mint condition) examples with elaborate paintwork can sell for over $200 on auction sites such as eBay, whereas others in good condition and simpler colour schemes can fetch around $40 - $60.
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