Samovar

Shiny silvery brass vessel with wood handle, golden base

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  • Shiny silvery brass vessel with wood handle, golden base

Date:

1897/1907

Artist:

Designed by Henry van de Velde
Belgian, 1863-1957
Made by the Workshop of Theodor Müller
Weimar, Germany, founded late 19th century

About this artwork

The Belgian architect and designer Henry van de Velde was one of the primary exponents of Art Nouveau, an international design style informed by the English Arts and Crafts Movement that was born in the 1880s and flourished at the turn of the twentieth century. This samovar, or Russian teakettle, beautifully illustrates the adroit mixture of taut lines and curvilinear motifs that characterizes Van de Velde’s mature Art Nouveau style. The sinuous organic lines of its base twist and snake around upright brackets and pick up again in the braided band motif of the teak handle. The kettle itself is simple in form, unornamented, and, with a prominent hinge on the spout cover, appears to be more engineered than crafted. This example was made from silvered brass and teak in accord with Van de Velde’s philosophy that art should be accessible and affordable to a broad public (though other examples were made of more costly silver). The kettle was designed at the Weimar School of Applied Arts, where Van de Velde became director in 1904. That school later became the Bauhaus, the bastion of modern design.

Currently Off View

European Decorative Art

Artist

Henry van de Velde

Title

Samovar

Origin

Germany

Date

1897–1907

Medium

Silvered brass and teak

Dimensions

37.9 × 28.5 × 23.5 cm (14 7/8 × 11 1/4 × 9 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Historical Design Collection; Mr. and Mrs. F. Lee Wendell and European Decorative Arts Purchase funds; Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson; Bessie Bennett Endowment; Edward Chase Garvey Memorial; Walter C. Clark, Mrs. Oscar Klein, Mrs. R.W. Morris, and Mrs. I. Newton Perry

Reference Number

1989.154a-e

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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