In his workshop notes from May 1734 he described his model with the tail feathers as a handle and the head as a spout. Crouching on the lid is a small rabbit. He also created another version, which was closer to the Chinese original in that the cock’s head was turned backwards, necessitating a hole in the neck as a small spout.
The brightly painted, 3in (8cm) high teapot, which is sometimes known as the Phoenix Teapot, is dateable to 1735-40. It was once part of the Christner Collection in New York and now belongs to the estate of the porcelain collectors Ilse and Alexander Tafel, whose extensive collection is being dispersed by Metz in Heidelberg on May 18.
The guide price is €3600.