Kettle

ARTIST / MAKER: Unknown
DATE: 1893 (made)
PLACE: Moscow (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver and wicker
COLLECTION NUMBER: 1107

Established in 1842, the firm of Peter Carl Fabergé became the official goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court in 1884. Best known for creating the ornate and intricately designed Imperial Easter Eggs gifted amongst members of the last Romanov Imperial family, the House of Fabergé was the most prestigious manufacturer of luxury goods in Russia in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.

This silver tea kettle was made in Fabergé’s Moscow workshops, which specialised in creating a wide variety of silver tableware rather than the finely enamelled frames and gold boxes in the French taste made in the St Petersburg branch. The kettle’s square form and spot-hammered silver surface reflect the influence of Japanese metalwork designs and the contemporary taste for Art Nouveau forms, known in Russia as ‘Stil Modern’. Although the kettle’s pared-down design is relatively minimalist compared to Fabergé’s usual output, a heart-shaped strainer hole to the kettle’s interior reveals the firm’s usual playfulness. The Estonian silver control marks on the kettle’s base and introduced in the early 20th century indicate the kettle was exported.