ANTIQUE SILVER SAMOVARS
Antique Silver samovars Description:
A type of serving vessel for keeping either water, tea, or coffee hot. Used for replenishing tea pots and coffee pots. The word Samovar came into vogue, in England, during the reign of King George V. The last Czar, Nicholas II and King George V were 1st cousins; their mothers, Queen Alexandra of Britain and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia were sisters. Before that time they were simply called Tea Urns.
Antique Silver samovars History:
The earliest samovars were made about the same time as the first tea pots in the early 1700s. But British samovars with hallmarks before 1750 are now very rare. Most were made in the latter part of the 18th century and throughout the 19th and early part of the 20th century. There are very few orders for new samovars today mainly because the old ones are still being used and work well.
Antique Silver samovars Design:
Their design and style are really controlled by the heating mechanism employed. There were basically two methods used. The earlier method utilised a pre-heated piece of iron that was lowered into a cylindrical socket affixed vertically inside the urn. The second later method used from about 1790 involved a spirit lamp with a burner that was normally held in a frame below the urn. This latter method allowed the heat to be controlled much more easily.
Antique Silver samovars Collectors Note:
Many of the earlier pre-1790 samovars and urns do not have their original heating mechanisms which either corroded or were lost. The later tea and coffee urns with burners must have original mechanisms with correpondin hallmarks. Always look inside the urn to make sure that there are no major repairs around the spigot. Be especially wary of repairs that have been carried out using lead.