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West Tennessee Treasures - Trenton - Teapot Museum

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

TRENTON, Tenn. - At Trenton's Teapot Museum, some of the teapots look like people, some like animals, others are simply scenic, but no two are exactly alike.

All of the teapots at the museum are porcelain veilleuses, or night-light teapots, dating from 1650 to 1860.

"They were used by the bedsides in Europe and different places across the world back in the 17 and 1800's," said Trenton Mayor Tony Burriss. "They were used to keep tea warm at night or they were also used to keep medicines warm."

526 all-porcelain, hand-painted teapots make Trenton the Night-light Teapot Capital of the World.

"They were all collected by Dr. Frederick Freed who grew up here in Trenton," said Mayor Burriss.

The doctor collected most of the treasures through his travels.

"One of his patients gave him one of these teapots as a gift and he loved it," said Mayor Burriss. "I don't know if it was an obsession or not, but he would travel to Europe every summer to gather teapots up."

His teapot donation, now on display seven days per week, 24 hours per day came with a few stipulations.

"They had to be displayed all the time," said Mayor Burriss. "You couldn't just display a few of them. You had to display all of them at a time and nobody could ever pay to see the teapots."

The city of Trenton agreed to Dr. Freed's stipulations and now attracts people from all over the world.

"They might be from England, they might be from Venezuela, they might be from Japan," said Mayor Burriss. "They might be from Humboldt and Milan. But we have people from everywhere that come to see the teapots."

If you would like to visit the Teapot Museum after-hours, an extra key is available at the fire house next to the museum.