English Tea Kettle
This is a mid-19th-century samovar tea kettle. Samovar (meaning ‘self-brewing’) kettles originated in Russia in the 1840s, and quickly gained international popularity. What makes this style of kettle unique is its ability to percolate tea without the use of tea bags. A traditional samovar, like the one pictured here, consists of a large metal container with a faucet or tap located near the bottom. Water is boiled using either charcoal or wood in the kettle’s boiling chamber – commonly a metal fuel pipe that runs through the centre of the pot. Tea concentrate is placed in a section at the top of the pot, which is dilated as it is released into the boiling water. Samovar kettles vary in size, and were particularly useful when keeping tea warm for a crowd. This English samovar is constructed primarily from copper and features a variety of detailed patterns that cover the majority of the object’s body. The handles, spout, and legs are all crafted from bronze. The gently curving lines of the object, alongside its lustrous gleam, contribute to making this object visually appealing. This English samovar kettle would be the perfect addition to any tea-lovers collection.
At this time in England, construction on the Clock Tower, where the famous bell “Big Ben” resides, was completed in 1859. The tower was designed by architect and designer Augustus Pugin (1812–1852) in the neo-Gothic style. There are five bells within the tower, and Big Ben was the largest bell in the United Kingdom for twenty-three years after its completion. The Clock Tower was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012, in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s (1926–) Diamond Jubilee.