Easy case to solve as Sherlock sells-out West Hampstead teapot

A designer’s distinctive fine bone china teapots sold out within an hour when they featured in the final episode of the excellent BBC series, Sherlock.

West Hampstead resident Ali Miller did not know that her teapot and cup, embossed with a map of the British Isles, would feature on the popular show and was not watching TV at the time.

The 32-year-old told Heathman: “I checked my e-mails shortly after the programme finished and my inbox was clogged with orders for my ‘UK and Ireland Map’ teapot.

“I was completely flummoxed as to why, and only found out the Sherlock connection when a friend called to tell me they had seen it.”

Since the broadcast, she has been overwhelmed with orders for the teapot and other items in her extensive range. There is now a four to six- week waiting list to allow enough time to produce more teapots and cups and send them out.

Stockists of the crockery, including Selfridges, Paul Smith and the Tate, also sold out within hours of the Sherlock finale, which I’m told was watched by eight million viewers.

Ms Miller has since managed to watch the crucial scene, where villain Moriarty visits Sherlock’s flat for a cup of tea and a gloat after evading justice.

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“It was just mental,” she said. “My tea set was prominent for a full three minutes, and it looked as if I had paid thousands for product placement, but I didn’t pay a thing.”

Her crockery is an amalgamation of art and functional kitchen ware. Ms Miller describes her style as “quintessentially British”.

* To order your own teapot, go to www.alimiller.co.uk