International Decorative Art

Coffee Samovar Set

Coffee Samovar Set

Design Date c. 1938

Designer Walter von Nessen (1889-1943, American, b. Germany)

Manufacturer Chase Brass & Copper Company, Chase Specialties Division (1930-1942), Waterbury, CT; Chase Tower, NY

Media chrome-plated metal with bakelite accents

Dimensions Samovar 12 x 10 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches; Kent (No. 17089) Creamer 3 ¼ x 4 3/8 x 5 1/2 inches; Kent (No. 17089) Covered Sugar 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches; Festivity (No. 09018) Tray 7/8 x 19 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches

Walter von Nessen’s designs are characterized by the use of chromium, undecorated surfaces and utility of line. This samovar is a spherical urn used to heat beverages. The samovar’s unadorned gleaming surface, along with the verticality added by the fluted cylindrical base, exemplify the streamlined machine aesthetic that was central to Art Deco. In addition to being display-worthy, the samovar was practical, allowing the user to make and serve coffee for 25 people out of the same vessel. The fluted base of the samovar was inspired by the extruded industrial piping von Nessen saw discarded in the Chase metal factory where his work was produced, as well as by the fluting on antique Greek columns.

ON VIEW in Art Deco Gallery 6

Markings Bottom has raised mark, "CHASE BRASS & COPPER CO / MODEL L 17088

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number 2012.0363