The scene of 'Harlequin and Columbine discovered in an arbour by Pierrot' is derived from an engraving in the John Bowles Drawing book, from a sheet bearing the date 24th November, 1756. It differs only in minor details from the print used by Greatbatch, who included his own name in his version. The inspiration for the companion print, 'A lady, her suitor, and her father' is unknown, though it has been suggested that given the dramatic nature of the subject matter it may also derive from a theatrical source.
For a teapot of the same form in Norwich Castle Museum, decorated with the same prints as the present lot, see David Barker, William Greatbatch, A Staffordshire Potter, London, 1991, p. 156, col. pl. XV.; see also the front cover illustration for a detail of the 'Harlequin and Columbine discovered in an arbour by Pierrot' print, including the 'Greatbatch' printed signature, on a mug from The Delhom Collection in the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.
The paper label on the underside perhaps refers to Edward Sheldon and the sale held by C.W. Provis & Sons, Manchester, Early English Pottery and Porcelain, The Sheldon Collection, on 30 and 31 October 1928.