Maker: I. C.

Date: 1699–1700

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Silver, ebony

Dimensions: H. 5-5/8 in. (14.3 cm.); L. 11-5/8 in. (29.5 cm.)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948

Accession Number: 48.187.78


This teapot appears to be the only Parisian silver teapot of the period to have survived. The custom of tea drinking was still relatively new in France when this teapot was made, and its small size reflects the high cost of tea. Tea never gained the popularity of either coffee or chocolate in France, and silver teapots do not seem to have been produced in large quantities in the eighteenth century.
The design of the teapot closely corresponds to Nicolas-Ambroise Cousinet's drawing of a teapot made for the duc d'Aumont. It is known that Cousinet sent the drawing to the Swedish court in 1702; French silver set the artistic standard for court silver throughout Europe, and the Swedes were especially influenced by French designs.