A teapot for 1024 cups of tea, the giant earthenware teapot, 2ft 6in (76cm) high, made by Gibson and Sons of Burslem sold to an American collector for £5000 at Bonhams Chester.

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But that's before one appreciates that the finial to the domed cover is of standard size - the whole stands 2ft 6in (76cm) high and weighs around 50 kilos.

A promotional piece

This extraordinary teapot - it takes two strong men to lift it when empty - was made by Gibson and Sons of Burslem, Stoke on Trent c.1907-10.

It was very likely a promotional piece - perhaps the result of a bet between Sydney Gibson and another teapot manufacturer - and, at the time, was heralded as the largest in the world. Reputedly capable of holding some 1024 cups of tea, the pot was press moulded in two halves (there were five separate elements in all) and fired in a bottle kiln that had to be adapted especially to house the huge pieces and to accommodate a saggar in the form of a brick wall built around them.

According to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, three of the monster teapots were made, but by the mid 1950s only one of them was thought to have survived. Its whereabouts remained a mystery to all except its current owner until last year. According to family history, the vendor's grandfather, a china and glass retailer in Bolton, was given the teapot during the 1930s by the proprietor of Gibson in exchange for a dinner service he had ordered for his daughter's wedding. It has spent the last three or four decades under wraps in a garage in Bolton before it was consigned for sale at Bonhams Chester on October 6.

It had some condition issues (the spout was restuck, there was a crack to base and chips to finial) but comfortably exceeded its £1000-1500 expectations selling at £5000 (plus 17.5 per cent buyer's premium). The buyer, represented by an agent in the room, was an American collector. Texas perhaps?