Antique Kettles


2015-06-26 11:16:46


Antique Kettles are collectible kettles produced more than 100 years ago.

Brief History

The first kettles were believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia between 3500 and 2000 BC. Made of bronze, these vessels were used to cook and prepare food. Kettles made exclusively for boiling water was not introduced until the 17th century. Early kettle makers opted to use either iron or copper when making their wares since these materials were known for their excellent heat conducting capabilities.

Although the design of the kettle has changed dramatically since the 17th century, a typical kettle may be described as a vessel with a cylindrical body, a lid cover, a handle, and a long spout for pouring its contents. Among the most prized kettles of the 18th century were those made by the silversmiths of Revere, a company founded by Boston USA native, Paul Revere. In the 19th century, during the advancement of silver-plating technologies, silver-plated kettles became popular. These kettles which are highly desired by collectors today were typically made of various base metals such as steel plated with silver ions.

Innovations in kettle design continued up until the 20th century courtesy of several manufacturers such as Italy based kitchenware maker, Alessi. Alessi introduced the two-tone whistle, stainless steel domed kettle and the Alessi bird kettle. Steel kettles were replaced by ceramic porcelain kettles during World War II due to the scarcity of metals.

Guide for Collectors

Collectors generally prefer vintage kettles that have an old and tarnished look. However, damaged and severely worn out kettles do not present much of a value unless they are of very old age and extremely rare. Hallmarks and markings are also considered in determining a kettle’s value.

Early British kettles can be distinguished by their distinctive markings. It has been the practice of English silversmiths since the 14th century to place hallmarks on their kettles to indicate silver content, date of manufacture and so forth. Paul de Lamerie, Brent Moses, and Matthew Boulton are examples of 19th century English silversmiths that produced fine kettles that are today considered to be highly collectible.

Antique kettles require more delicate cleaning procedures and measures relative to other flatware. It is advisable to seek professional help in cleaning kettles since the patina may be destroyed, leading to a significant decrease in their aesthetic and monetary value.

Museum curators and antique dealers are excellent resource persons that inexperienced collectors can to turn to when trying to identify or appraise antique kettles. Experts generally look for relevant documentation (such as letters that contain family history) or markings when dating or authenticating vintage kettles.

Notable Auction Sales

1.) A Christopher Dresser antique kettle was purchased for the amount of £100,000 in April 19, 2005 at an auction organized by Lyon and Turnbull of Scotland. This kettle had sharp lines and was inspired by Japanese art.

2.) A Paul Storr hot water kettle, marked London 1807, sold for $7000 in December 18, 2007 at an auction organized by Antique Place. It weighed 60 ounces and had a height of 11 inches.

3.) Antique Place of Florida, USA was able to sell a Paul Storr sterling silver kettle for $6,500 in April 8, 2007. Its height was measured at 11 inches and at the time of auction weighed 60 ounces.

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