- Museum number
Tea-pot from tea-set; silver and Brazilian rosewood; the handle formed of a thick block of wood with cylindrical grip, fitted inside with a sheet of silver across the front to prevent spillage, necessitated by the small spout; the lid has a quadrant-shaped wood handle.
- Production date
- 1929 (designed)
Height: 129 millimetres
Length: 220 millimetres
Weight: 1.05 kilograms
Width: 105 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Made by the firm of Puiforcat, Paris, under the direction of Jean Puiforcat.
In set with 1981,0311.3-5
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.248a
The son of a goldsmith, Puiforcat was self-taught as a designer, setting up his own workshop in 1922. He exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1925 and in 1928 joined the Union des Artistes Modernes, a breakaway modernist group favouring simplicity of design in reaction to the decorative style of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs. Puiforcat owned a celebrated collection of eighteenth-century silver and was also a distinguished athlete, being a tennis champion, a member of the French national Rugby football team and the Olympic ice-hockey team.
This teaset was designed for the 'Exposition de joaillerie et d'orfevrerie du Musee Galliera' in the summer of 1929 and is illustrated in Art et Decoration LVI, July-December 1929, 43 (as part of a review of the whole exhibition, pp. 33-50). The exhibition, organised by the Chambre Syndicale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie et Orfevrerie, was widely publicised in other journals, for example Les Echos des Industries d'Art, Paris July 1929, 25-9, where Puiforcat was acclaimed as the innovator and guiding force behind modernist silver.
For further contemporary discussion of Puiforcat's silver, see G. Quenioux, 'Les Arts Décoratifs Modernes', Paris 1925 and T. Bouilhet, 'L'orfèvrerie francaise au XXe siècle', Paris 1941. This teaset was included in the Art Deco exhibition held in Minneapolis in 1971 The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 'The World of Art Deco', B. Hillier (cat. no. 202). There are apparently no other published examples of this design.
Information supplementary to Rudoe 1994:
See also M. Collins, 'Towards Post-Modernism, Design since 1851', London, British Museum, revised ed. 1994, fig. 74.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012-2013 Nov-Mar, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, Treasures of the World's Cultures
- Associated events
- Designed for: Exposition de joaillerie et d'orfèvrerie du Musée Galliéra 1929
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The donors acquired the set from George Attenborough & Sons, silver and jewellery merchants of Fleet Street, in 1966; according to information supplied by the Attenborough's at that time, the set was originally purchased from them in 1930.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number