One of the more curious items to have come out of the Wood & Sons / Bursley Ltd era was the ‘Cosy’ pot – a supposedly non-drip teapot that came in various colours & sizes.
The design itself was patented worldwide by Edmund William Abram in 1921. He claimed that it was ‘the perfect teapot’, although it was eventually also marketed as a coffee pot so as not to narrow the market for it. By all accounts, it was non-drip, although I must confess I haven’t tested it!
The licence to manufacture them was initially given to a number of potteries, but Wood & Sons produced the majority; (Booths and Pountney’s of Bristol were amongst the other companies that manufactured the pots). Abram’s company – Abram Allwares Ltd – unfortunately went into liquidation in the mid 1920s and Wood & Sons took over the patent registration. They continued to produce them until around 1932 and the ‘Cosy’ is usually found in some of the more popular patterns, such as Frederick Rhead’s Trellis, Chung, Yuan and Mikado, as well as Charlotte’s Seed Poppy and Bursley pattern 726 (shown at the top of the page).
They were made in different sizes – the example shown at the top is the smallest one, standing at approx. 12.5cm (5″) high, intended presumably as a ‘tea for one’ pot. I have seen two other sizes (6.5″ & 8″ tall), but understand there may also be larger ones. The bigger pots tended to come in plain colours – one of them being a very bright orange, but they can also be found in pretty dull shades of brown. The examples that fetch the best money are understandably those in the tube-lined patterns, such as Trellis & Seed Poppy. I think it’s odd that a complicated design such as Seed Poppy was used on such a functional item; the majority were given the standard, plain tableware designs. Perhaps it was just a marketing thing, with the colourful versions being used in advertising and at trade fairs – I suppose that would explain why they are harder to come by.
Whilst the pots are not hard to spot given their shape, if you come across one anywhere and are unsure about its authenticity, then it’s worth checking the backstamp – they differed from the standard Wood & Sons or Bursley Ltd marks in that details of the Abram patent are printed in some detail, as well as the name of the manufacturer. An example of a Wood & Sons stamp is shown in the gallery below.
If anybody has actually made a pot of tea in a Cosy – I’d love to hear how it went…..