- Museum number
Kettle; electroplate; with angular spout supported on one of the four hook-shaped feet, the bar handle of ebonised wood supported on the two vertical uprights above the body; the lid is hinged at right angles to the spout and has a wooden knop; an applied band with raised bosses encircles the horizontal arm of the spout; on one side of the body an owner's monogram.
- Production date
Height: 22.90 centimetres (including handle)
Width: 20.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.84.
For a full discussion of Christopher Dresser's metalwork see Curatorial Comment for catalogue no. 82 (1983.10-10.1) in 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950'.
In the book of sketches and design studies by Dresser in the Ipswich Museum is a sketch for a similar kettle with angular spout and hook feet, one of which supports the spout. The sketch shows a side handle and a more domed lid, but has the same band of beading, applied at the join of the spout and the body (Fig. 11). The sketchbook was purchased by Captain C.A. Orchard at a sale of architectural drawings at Christie's in about 1925-6 and presented to the Ipswich Museum in 1972.
For a version of this design with side instead of top handle and matching cream jug and sugar bowl, see R. Dennis and J. Jesse, 'Christopher Dresser 1834-1904', exhibittion catalogue, Fine Art Society, London 1972. no. 128.See also R. Joppien, 'Christopher Dresser, ein Viktorianische Designer', exhibition catalogue, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Cologne1981.no. 3 (the British Museum kettle).
The bar handles are a favourite motif of Dresser's: he included illustrations of Japanese metalwork with bar-handles in the Furniture Gazette xiv, 1880.
Additional text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection'. 2nd ed. 1994. Addenda.
Many of these pieces bear design registration marks. In theory, the mark stamped on the object should correspond to both a description and a representation in the records of registered designs held at the Public Record Office, but sometimes the wrong numbers were stamped on the objects. This means that although the brief listing in the Registers of Ornamental Designs confirms that Hunkin & Heath registered designs on that day (the listings rarely give detailed descriptions of the object registered), the actual design itself, contained in separate volumes of Ornamental Designs, may differ from the object.
84 and 85. Register BT 44/4. Representation book BT 43/44 illustrates variants of both kettle designs, together with two cruet sets, design nos. 321184-7, one of which is a version of Cat. 86.
- On display (G47/dc15)
- Exhibition history
1981 12 Feb-20 Apr, Germany, Cologne, Kunstgewerbemuseum, The Works of Christopher Dresser
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number