ARTIST / MAKER: Francis Singleton (maker)
DATE: 1702 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Britannia standard silver with fruitwood handle

When tea drinking became fashionable amongst the wealthy from the mid-17th century, there was initially very little distinction between vessels made for tea, coffee and chocolate. Unlike the bulbous urns that were developed in later years, this very early hot water urn is similar in shape to the tall coffee and chocolate pots made during this period. Made by Francis Singleton, it is made from Britannia Standard silver (95.84% pure silver). Decorated with applied cut-card work and three tall scroll feet, the lack of moulded or engraved decoration corresponds with the contemporary taste for simplicity in design. Cut-card was the most costly method of decorating silver objects due to the additional layer of silver added on the surface.