Teapot

ARTIST / MAKER: Unknown
DATE: ca.1900 (made)
PLACE: France (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Cast pewter
COLLECTION NUMBER: 1326

This large pewter teapot was designed by Léon Kann, a prolific French designer who worked in the Art Nouveau style for various manufactories of bronze, silver, and porcelain (such as Sèvres) from 1900-1915. He trained with noted French sculptors Aimé Millet (1819 – 1891) and ‘animalier’ sculptor Pierre Louis Rouillard (1820 – 1881). Throughout his career, Kann created small, decorative objects and tableware inspired by fruit and vegetables, blending the utilitarian aspect of the objects with naturalistic forms. This gourd-shaped teapot was cast at the Siot-Decauville foundry in Paris, one of the largest metal foundries and retailers in France. The snake-form handle on this teapot demonstrates the fashion for whiplash curves which defined French Art Nouveau designs at the turn of the century. As the style spread and attained popularity in France, Belgium and Austria, Art Nouveau’s characteristic sinous forms were given a host of knicknames, such as Paling Stijl (‘eel style’) or Style Nouille (‘noodle style’). A teapot of this form can also be found in the permanent collection of the Musée du Petit Palais, Paris. (accession n.O, Gallerie 113)