With the establishment of the ritual of afternoon tea in the 19th century, a full and complete tea service for those who could afford it would have included a spirit kettle and stand. Originally introduced to the tea service in the 17th century, kettles fell out of use with the introduction of the tea urn in 1760 which was seen as more practical to refill the larger teapots. By the 19th century however, their popularity resurged due to the discovery of odourless spirits, such as camphorine, that could be used in the burner to keep the water hot.
Although tea was initially treated with caution in Ireland, the beverage became extremely popular in the 19th century, to the extent that it was considered an addiction to the Irish people, with concern over women’s consumption of the drink in particular.
Dublin was the main centre of silver production in Ireland, established since the 13th century. By the 17th century, Irish silver was required to have the same fineness as that made in England and Scotland, with hallmarks registered for makers and assay masters. The silversmith William Nolan, was active from 1811 to 1835, working on Whitefriar street. Influenced by design trends from London, Nolan has often been said to be the Irish equivalent of Paul Storr, characterised by fine quality pieces in the Regency taste.