Tea strainer

ARTIST / MAKER: David Andersen (maker)
DATE: ca.1900 (made)
PLACE: Norway (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt and plique-à-jour enamel

The rim and handle of this tea strainer are decorated with clear, multicoloured enamels, a technique known as plique-à-jour. Due to the difficulty of fusing the coloured enamels into the spaces of the wire framework, plique-à-jour has a high failure rate but when successful, it produces a translucent effect similar to stained glass. The technique was popular in France in the 1860s and in Norway at the turn of the 20th century. This example was made by the firm of David Andersen which was established in Oslo in 1876. It was Andersen’s son, Arthur Andersen, the firm’s director from 1901, who introduced the plique-à-jour technique to the company’s designs, which became some of the firm’s most successful.