(The complete original online set of these pictures, larger and clearer, can be viewed at: http://imgur.com/a/7Rjbr#0
The design of this teapot grew out of the needs of Sephardic Jews (later known as “crypt-Jews”) to conceal their religious observance during the Spanish Inquisition and in later communities. I saw something similar during a tour of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York City many years ago. Appurtenances on the bima could be removed, revealing objects for use in observance, like candlesticks.
For a good article on “crypto-Judaism,” see:
MORE TO COME