A teapot stand has uses both practical and aesthetic. It acts as a protector between the hot teapot and the surface that it is placed upon. Additionally, it is one of many ornamental additions to antique tea services.
The teapot stand was an integral part of a tea set in the early 1800s. At this point, the ritual of tea making had led to the invention of many accessories; trays, tea caddies, tea strainers and sugar bowls to name a few.
In order to maintain a cohesive look to the tea table, the teapot stand traditionally matched the teapot that was placed upon it. This meant that the teapot stand would be the correct shape, style and design as the teapot in use. It was not common for teapot stands to be sold or made separately to their corresponding teapots.
Teapot stands can be found in many designs and styles. Popular shapes throughout history include pear shaped, bulbous, oval, spherical and bullet-shaped.
A common type of stand is that associated with the spirit kettle. Although not a teapot, spirit kettles are very similar in purpose. Their stands are noteworthy as they feature a candle holder, which is used to keep the water warm.