Tôle peinte, a technique where tinware is covered with a black varnish that imitates Japanese lacquerware, was popular in France from the 1790s owing to the foundation of The Manufacture de Vernis sur Métaux Deharme in 1791. Directed by its founder Blaise-Louis Deharme, it produced luxurious objects and furniture that utilised the tole technique to a very high quality, and received commissions from Napoelon’s family and French statesmen. Consequently, there was a widespread interest in furniture and objets d’art with this technique, demonstrating the interest for new materials and decorative motifs influenced by antiquity in the early 19th century.
This kettle and stand may have formed part of the campaign furniture used in the Napoleonic wars, most likely by an officer who could pay to take their own equipment on military campaigns, and would have formed part of a carriage ‘dormeuse’, a necessaire fitted out will all the requirements of military life. Its tripod form derives from ancient Greco-Roman braziers which, during the Renaissance, was appreciated as a luxury form, while the canted triangular base can be traced to the Roman Tripod originating from the city of Vulci.