Robert Hall founded the Hall China company, in Liverpool, Ohio, in 1903. Production of Hall teapots began in 1919 and continues today, along with seasonal items, collectibles, kitchenware and serving pieces. The first Hall teapots, the Gold Decorated Teapot line, were extremely popular. In addition to manufacturing teapots, the Hall china company taught American homemakers how to brew the perfect pot of tea through their marketing materials. Based on the level of popularity, Hall introduced, discontinued and re-issued many teapot lines over the years. In 1985, Hall reintroduced some of its old lines of dinnerware and teapots. To identify and date Hall teapots, use the backstamp and the shape.
Examine the mark, also called a backstamp, on the bottom of your teapot. There are six main stamps used by Hall. They all have the word "Hall" depicted in several formats. Variations include "Hall China," "Hall's China" and simply "Hall." Some of the marks include "U.S.A." or a pattern name.
Compare the mark you found with a list of Hall backstamps found in books or online to determine the date (see References). While the exact markings on the bottom of Hall teapots have varied over the years, they tend to include a backstamp, the number of cups the teapot holds, a pattern number and a color number. If your teapot backstamp has a simple circle with the words "Hall China," sometimes with the addition of "Made in U.S.A." between "Hall" and "China," it dates from the 1920s. If the mark is a plain circle with the word "Hall" in the middle, your teapot dates from the 1930s to the 1970s. This is the most common mark found on collectible Hall china today.
Fine-tune the date of your teapot by researching the shape of your teapot. Hall created teapots to match with their dinnerware patterns, and designed novelty teapots. The novelty teapots often had a short production life, an asset when dating your teapots. The Automobile Teapot, manufactured from 1938 to 1941, mimicked the sleek, rounded car shapes of the Art Deco period. The Birdcage Teapot, oval-shaped with a short, stubby spout, was produced during the same years. The Manhattan teapot, another novelty teapot, produced from the 1920s to 1970s, was round, with its spout perpendicular to the handle.
Consider pattern identification as you date your Hall china teapot. Over the years, Hall introduced hundreds of different patterns. Some, like Blue Garden, which has green leaves and white flowers on a dark blue background, was produced from the late 1930s to early 1940s and lived a short production life. Others, such as Autumn Leaf, featuring a group of autumn-colored leaves on a white background, extended from 1933 to 1976. A well-researched Hall resource book will provide assistance with pattern identification and dating.
Susan Ward, M.A., writes about family, parenting, and children's mental health issues for multiple publications. She has been published in various special interest publications, both in print and online, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. since 1989. She's also authored two books and numerous booklets.