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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: French
Title: "Boule" Teapot
Date: ca. 1950
Medium: Silver plate
Dimensions: 4 3/4 x 11 x 8 in. (12.1 x 27.9 x 20.3 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Isabel and William Berley, Classes of 1947 and 1945
Object Number: 99.078.119
Label Text: WHERE WAS IT MADE?
The teapot was manufactured by Christofle, which began operations in France in the 1830s.

WHO WAS THE ARTIST?
Lino Sabattini (b.1925) is an Italian silversmith who worked in the modernist style. In the 1950s he became director of design at the Christofle silver company and contributed his own designs for flatware and other decorative arts.

HOW WAS IT MADE?
This teapot is made from silver plated metal. Silver plate or plating is a process involving an electrical current used to deposit a thin layer of silver onto an article or vessel made of a base metal like copper or nickel silver. The process was developed in the 1830s and was patented by Elkington & Co. around 1836. It made silver objects more affordable for many middle-class families.

HOW WAS IT USED?
This teapot is part of a coffee and tea set manufactured by Christofle around 1950. The set originally consisted of a coffee and teapot, sugar and creamer, tongs, and tray.

WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE THIS?
The word boule is French for ‘ball’ and no doubt refers to the bulbous, round shape of the teapot. Sabattini won acclaim for his modern designs with their nebulous, futuristic shapes.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.