Ornate George II silver tea kettle with an ornate stand and handle
Tea kettle with stand, Samuel Courtauld I (1720–1765), 1748–49, Silver. The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Tea Kettle with Stand

Samuel Courtauld I (1720–1765), 1748–49

Large tea kettles, used to replenish hot water in tea pots, were a standard item from about 1710. With its textured surface and upside-down pear shape, this kettle was designed as much for function as to give free reign to the craftsman’s technical skills.

After shaping the sheet silver for the body of the kettle, the silversmith created the embossed surface by working from the inside of the metal, using specially adapted hammers and punch tools, and then engraving it from the outside. Additional elements such as the acorn on the lid and the swags of flowers on the stand were cast separately.

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)