An Arts & Crafts Kettle, Stand, & Burner, designed by Christopher Dresser for Benham & Froud


Origin: English
Period: Arts and Crafts
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880
Height: 25.5 inches
Width: 13.5 inches

The copper kettle, of globular form, with brass handle and feet and ebonised wooden handle, above a copper oil burner, supported by a black patinated wrought iron frame with wrythen tendril decoration and a tripod base, with a lead filled spherical copper weight. The Benham and Froud manufacturer's monogram mark is impressed on the underside of the kettle. There is a small dint to the kettle, which could easily be pushed out if so desired. It is also worth mentioning that the whole ensemble could be polished; however this would be a decision best left down to the eventual owner.

Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) is one of the most important and celebrated designers of the arts and crafts movement. His designs were often Japanese inspired, and his sinuous forms, such as found in this iron frame, are drawn from his training as a botanist. The firm of Benham and Froud, began in 1785 when John Kepp founded a firm of coppersmiths and braziers in London, and manufactured a wide range of culinary copper. In 1855 the Kepp company was purchased by Augustus Benham and Joseph William Froud, who expanded the company and exhibited in London and in Paris. Notable among those who they supplied were Queen Victoria, Scott of the Antarctic, Winston Churchill and Harrods.

Beautiful, yet typically functional in concept and design, this kettle on stand is one of the more enduring of Dresser's designs, and while we have seen similar examples, we have not seen one exactly the same, and never expect to. Recently at auction, over £9,000 was paid for a Benham and Froud kettle designed by Dresser, testament to the enduring appeal and importance of Dresser's designs.