Kettle and stand

ARTIST / MAKER: Fuller White (maker)
DATE: 1753 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with wicker handle

Silver kettles first appeared at the end of the 17th century and served to replenish empty teapots, which were small at this time. To keep the water hot, they were supplied with stands fitted with a spirit burner that warmed the underside of the kettle, allowing the silver to act as a heat conductor. The handles were usually made of wicker or wood, or with ivory disk inserts that provided insulation from the boiling water. Due to the weight of a full kettle, they were often positioned next to the tea table on a stand and used with the assistance of a servant. As such large and impressive silver items, kettles became a focal point of the tea ceremony and an obvious expression of wealth.

Fuller White was an Essex-born silversmith who specialised in the production and sale of silver hollowares for tea and chocolate from his shop the Golden Ball and Pearl in Noble Street near St Paul’s in London. This silver kettle and stand exemplifies the Rococo style, which became fashionable in England in the 1740s. The finial of the kettle is cast in the form of a goose while the tall stand is decorated with openwork of brambles and foliage. The engraved initial on the front was added at a later date.