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Object Record

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Object ID # 1959.047.001abcde
Object Name Urn, Tea
Title Victorian Samovar (Tea Urn)
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Date 19th-century
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Unknown
Description Victorian copper & brass samovar (tea urn) consisting of a pedestal base (a), lid (b), burner (c) and ring to hold the burner (d). The detachable lug was formerly (c) but will now be (e). This tea urn has a raised pedestal base with four feet. There are shell-like corners and ridged, flattened-ball-shaped feet, all made out of cast metal. There is a tapering stem with incised rings which is also brass-coloured and supports the urn. The urn part has a copper exterior. There are two cast brass handles. These handles each have a five-petal rose motif. There is a faucet-style spout of brass, which has ring decoration. A brass handle above it apparently operates the flow. It has an incised central bone or ivory piece for decoration. The top of the urn is collared with heavy brass decoration. Its edge is a scalloped variation. The interior of the urn is silvertone (would this be a zinc plating?). There is a central vertical cylinder inside wherein one would place the lug (e). This cylinder has a fitted cap with a small lift knob. This lid likely helped keep the heat in. The external lid has a copper and brass exterior. The interior is also plated silvertone [zinc?] with four cross-shaped vents present. The exterior of the lid has alternating concave-convex "long petal"-like decoration. There is a central ornate casted piece which has circular vents and a large knob lift handle. The lug is 16.5 cm long, and is a solid, cylindrically-shaped piece of iron, with a solid ring at the top for fitting it. This would have been quite hot when put into the urn, so something must have been used to lower it with. The lug also has an intentional hole in it at its top end.
Function: A decorative receptacle with a faucet, which is designed to keep tea or coffee hot until it is dispensed. It used the heat that would emanate from a pre-heated iron lug to heat the beverage.
Provenance Original provenance and manufacturer unknown. Last belonged to Marguerite Lemon (neé Butchart), of Owen Sound, Grey County. She married Morley Lemon in 1938. The item likely did not belong to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Butchart of Owen Sound, as she could not recall its history in 1959. Morley Dalton Lemon's parents were James H. Lemon and Ellen Lemon (neé Arthur) of the Balaclava area of Sydenham Township, Grey County. Ellen later resided in Owen Sound when she was widowed.
Collection Food Service Tools & Equipment
Material Copper/Brass/Ivory?/Iron/Zinc?
Dimensions H-40 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Lemon, Morley
Subjects Tea
Tea parties
Entertaining
Function Very likely a Victorian item. Another name for a tea urn was "samovar". They were self-boilers--the lug would be heated to a high temperature and then placed in a contained cylinder within the urn. Thereby, it would keep hot beverages hot until they were dispensed through the spout.