The Federation of the Australian colonies on 1 January 1901 inspired a wide range of commemorative wares celebrating both the 'birth' of the new nation and the abiding closeness of Australia and Britain. On one side of the teapot a formal portrait of Queen Victoria has a British soldier on one side and an Australian on the other, symbolic of the agreement by which Britain supplied naval defence for Australia and Australian soldiers promised to defend the Empire. On the reverse is the only Australian figure -- Sir Henry Parkes, the 'father of Federation' -- next to the first governor general, Lord Hopetoun. However Parkes had died in 1896. His most effective work for Federation had been at Tenterfield in 1889 and he had little to do with subsequent negotiations leading to the writing of the Constitution and the referendum campaigns. Similarly although Hopetoun had been a popular governor of Victoria he proved unpopular as a governor general, appointing William Lyne (rather than the far more popular Edmund Barton) as the first prime minister. Joseph Chamberlain's words 'May the Union Between the Colonies and the Mother-Land now cemented by their blood, be for ever maintained' reflects his role as secretary of state for the colonies which meant he introduced the Commonwealth Constitution Bill into the British House of Commons.
Aedeen Cremin (ed), '1901: Australian life at Federation, an illustrated chronicle', UNSW Press, 1901