This teapot is from a set hand painted in China in the early to mid 20th Century. Colourful images of dragons and birds are set against a backdrop of white porcelain surrounded by gold.


Gladys Sym Choon owned The China Gift Store at 233A Rundle Street which opened in 1924 selling oriental goods imported from China and agents in Australia. The China Gift Store was a popular destination for buying home wares imported from China and Hong Kong. The shop sold a range of items such as embroidered napiery, hand-carved woodwork, ivory, amber and jade ornaments, carved pearl inlaid furniture, pedestals, chairs, tea pots, tables, cabinets and trays, as well as Chinese silk lounge sets.  The shop was promoted as a place to buy exotic goods and experience the East. It was passed on to Gladys's daughter, Mei Ling Niel, in 1979, who operated the store until it closed in 1985.  Joff Chappell took over the shop premises and named the store 'Miss Gladys Sym Choon'.


An example of goods sold at the China Gift Store, a well known and successful business in Adelaide. The teapot demonstrates a style of oriental painting used to decorate everyday household items that became popular in Australia during the early 20th Century. 


A: The teapot is cylinderical, tape red at the top with raised a ridge to receive the lid. The spout rises vertically from the side to be level with the height of the teapot. On both sides of the top are two raised holes used to connect the handles, which are two lengths of steel wire covered in gold and brown fabric. The teapot is decorated in gold with two white sections on either side showing handpainted colourful images of a red dragon and a green bird.
B: Lid, decoratively handpainted with colourful images of flowers, the lid is a hollow piece with two finger holes at the top to allow for its removal.

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China Gift Store

Tea pot from a set that was for sale at the China Gift Store
Courtesy of/Photographer:Rachel Harris, Bit Scribbly Design

Tea pot, Migration Museum collection, HT2006.107

Hand painted dragon
Courtesy of/Photographer:Rachel Harris, Bit Scribbly Design

Teapot, Migration Museum collection, HT2006.107

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