ARTIST / MAKER: Paul Jobst Süry (maker)
DATE: ca. 1705 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with wooden handle

This early German teapot was made by Paul Jobst Süry (Syring), a silversmith who operated in the north German city of Hildesheim. The pear-shaped body is very similar in style to the Chinese export porcelain that was being imported into Europe during this period. Its shape demonstrates the strong influence of East Asian design on the production of teawares in Europe, as well as the links between ceramic and silver production. Since the secret of porcelain production was not discovered in Europe until 1708, silver was initially a fashionable material from which teawares were made. As silver conducts heat, silversmiths often had to substitute elements such as the handle and the finial on the lid for wood or other materials such as ivory. Paul Jobst Süry (Syring) is mainly known for producing objects used in Catholic rites, and between 1718 and 1721 was responsible for gilding the dome of the Hildesheim Cathedral.