This teapot has been decorated using niello, a technique in which a black mixture of silver, copper and lead sulphide is filled into incised areas of a metal surface to create an ornamental pattern. Heat is used to fuse the niello mixture to the metal surface, which is then filed and polished. The process has been used by craftsmen in Europe since the Iron Age, but it was most likely introduced to Thailand by Persian or Portuguese craftsmen in the 16th century. Metal artisans from Nakhon Si Thammarat (Southern Thailand) were known for their excellent niello work, and the city was the centre of the production of elaborate niello silverware until the mid-18th century. Offering fine nielloware objects as state gifts was a prevalent tradition in Thailand, which goes back to the reign of King Narai of Ayutthaya (1656-1688). This type of teapot, known as kar-nam-ton, would have been made for elite Thai patrons or members of the Royal house.