A Magnificent Regency Tea Kettle on Stand, London 1897
Height: 33.5 cm, 13.18 in.; Weight: 2420 g, 77 oz 16 dwt
The hinged cover is surmounted by a rich triumph of exotic fruit and foliage in the form of cocoa beans, pomegranates, berries, and tobacco leaves, giving some indication as to the wealth and conviviality of the patron. To the main body of the kettle, a playful monkey is shown to offer a ripe cocoa fruit to the revellersrovides adding another aspect of marvel. The stand is adorned with further vegetation and minute fauna that captivate the eye in its intricate structure.
The mastery of Edward Farrell’s work can be fully appreciated in the theatrical structure of this kettle’s – such can be expected from one of the most highly regarded silversmiths of the Georgian and Regency era. He often undertook commissions for the Royal Court and was best known for his spectacularly sculptural pieces with intricate and highly realistic details.
Widely varying decorative schemes and stylistic conventions were extremely prevalent in late Georgian silver fashions. Natural and exotic elements, inspired by the Rococo taste, were combined in a revived enthusiasm for pieces that evoked a romantic sense of drama.
In this period, the serving of tea and coffee began to replace more formal dinner invitations – it was seen as highly fashionable in Europe as tea leaves and coffee beans were exotic imported luxuries.