Hot water urn

ARTIST / MAKER: Paul Canaux & Co. (manufacturer)
DATE: 19th century (made)
PLACE: France (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver, with wooden handles and feet

The scrolling acanthus leaves and organic forms on the finial, handles and legs of this urn are inspired by the Rococo style that originated in France during the reign of Louis XV (1723-1774). By the 19th century, artists looked to take inspiration from historic decorative styles, and the naturalistic foliate ornament of the Rococo trend maintained an enduring appeal for designers. After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the revival of the Rococo trend also served to instil national pride and appreciation of the country’s heritage.

The urn was produced by the Parisian silversmith Paul Canaux & Companie, active between the years 1892 and 1911 and based at 30 boulevard Malesherbes. Paul Canaux succeeded the plate worker Joseph Mégemond at the premises, and in recognition of his predecessor registered his mark with an anvil symbol, working independently before creating the company in 1892.