These serving vessels, also known as Samovars, were originally used for keeping water hot so the smaller tea and coffee pots could be refilled without lifting or tilting the heavy piece. The word Samovar came into vogue in England during the reign of King George V. Before then they were simply called Tea Urns, which were made around the same time as the first teapots in the 1700s.
They were initially made in silver and later from silver plate. The inside of the silver plated coppers urns would have been coated with tin to protect the water from the harmful effects of the copper.
The original ones were small with a capacity of 2-3 liters and were of fine proportion. As the industry progressed, the size of urns grew to gigantic proportion with beautiful decorations.
The early ones were heated with charcoal. By 1790 to 1800 the urns began to appear with spirit lamps in the frame underneath along with a burner. This method allowed the heat to be controlled more easily. The tea urns with lamps and burners are the most valued as they were the most satisfactory to use.
Smaller urns were made especially for coffee and these normally didn’t have a heating device.
Our urns are very practical and functional items in very good condition. They can be used for dispensing hot or cold liquids and are especially useful for seminars, hotels and dinner parties. Perfect for keeping champagne and wines chilled or use the ones with the heating elements for keep coffee or mulled wine. Avoid dairy based products.
Most of the handles are for decorative purposes and were never really developed to a functional scale, so we recommend you never hold the urn by the handles. Always wait for the body to cool if heated, then pick it up with two hands by the girth of the body which is usually the lower half. Look after your Samovar and this investment will look after you.
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