ARTIST / MAKER: Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot (maker)
DATE: 1800 (made)
PLACE: France (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt, ivory, onyx finial, wood handle on burner

At the beginning of the 19th century, the firm of Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot was one of the most important and influential silversmithing companies in France. A skilful practitioner of the neoclassical style, Odiot received many commissions from French aristocracy including the Emperor Napoléon. Following the bankruptcy of the celebrated neoclassical silversmith Henry Auguste, Odiot was able to purchase many of his models and designs and he, along with Martin-Guillaume Biennais, soon replaced Auguste as silversmiths to Napoléon during the French Empire period. Odiot was subsequently appointed chief orfèvre under Louis XVIII. During the 18th and 19th centuries, samovars or hot water urns, were used to heat water which was then used to refill the teapot. Decorated with cast figural elements such as swans, grapevines and faces of the crying Greek philosophers, Heraclitus and Democratis, this samovar is characteristic of Odiot’s production and the so-called “Empire” style that was popular in France in the early 19th century.