International Decorative Art

Electric Water Kettle

Electric Water Kettle

Design Date c. 1908-1909

Designer Peter Behrens (1868-1940, German)

Manufacturer AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft) (1883-present), Berlin, Germany

Media brass with cane handle and wood finial

Dimensions 6 1/4 x 7 5/8 x 5 3/8 inches

This electric kettle was part of a series of kettles designed by Peter Behrens for AEG, a German electrical equipment company. The kettles also came in chromium and copper, and could be cylindrical, octagonal or oval. There were three sizes, leading to 80 possible variations, though only 30 were actually produced. Behrens’s electric kettle was the first to immerse the heating element, building it into the body of the kettle rather than placing it in a separate compartment. Though Behrens favored simple, utilitarian forms, this electric kettle retains the traditional shape of a teapot, and the woven cane handle and hammered surface give it a handcrafted appeal. Behrens, who was AEG’s chief artistic advisor from 1907-1914, is considered the Father of Industrial Design. He trained Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe starting in 1908. His influence led to the creation of the industrially-focused Bauhaus school by Gropius, as well as the modernism pioneered by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.

ON VIEW in Arts & Crafts Gallery 3

Markings Bottom impressed with AEG factory mark, “42512” and “37”

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number CG0590