International Decorative Art

Raymor Contempora Stacking Teapots

Raymor Contempora Stacking Teapots

Design Date 1950-1951

Designer Ben Seibel (1918-1985, American)

Manufacturer Steubenville Pottery Company (1879-1959), Steubenville, OH

Media ceramic

Dimensions 3 3/8 x 7 1/4 x 5 inches (each teapot)

Ben Seibel’s Contempora line was influenced by the innovative shapes and clean lines of Russel Wright’s American Modern tableware (1937–1938), which was the most popular dinnerware in America at the time. These nesting teapots are an example of the practical, space-saving design that industrial designers were considering in the mid-20th century. While the stacked pots look quaint and have a sense of humor, the handle on the pots’ lids are necessarily flat, making them somewhat awkward to grasp and use. The textured surface of these Contempora teapots was achieved by incising the ceramic surface to reveal a different color underneath the glaze. The teapot’s faint stripes are rippled and subtly mimic the texture of wood to give the modern shape a softer, more naturalistic surface.

ON VIEW in Modern Gallery 7

Markings unmarked

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number 2004.3480