The teabowl was a Chinese shape introduced into Britain with Chinese export porcelains and copied by British porcelain manufactories. This teabowl and saucer show a hand-painted Chinese figure design known as Girl with Parasol, dating from c1775-1780. As tea grew in popularity, the gentry would drink it from teabowls just like this one for breakfast, instead of beer. Many servants working in large houses received two or three teabowls of tea a day as part of their terms of employment. After 1784 when import duties were reduced, tea was cheaper than beer and the British passion for tea spread to all social groups.