(Tea-urn) is a purely Russian invention. Its origin is connected
with tea. Tea was delivered to Russia from the territory of West Mongolia
in the 17-th century and was used as medicine among the nobility.
Tea was a competitor of sbiten, the most favourite drink in
Russia. Its components are: hot water, medical herbs and honey.
The samovars became the symbol of Russian
hospitality and family comfort as well as the sign of prosperity.
It remains most stable attribute of domestic coziness. Step by step
a peculiar ritual of tea-drinking emerged and was adopted in every
Russian homse. In compliance with it, a hostess or her elder daughter
poured the tea. Some families held two samovars, one, more plain,
for everyday use, and a dearer one - for receptions and festivities.
There were homes with separate samovar-rooms whose interior was crowned
by the samovar.
"Tea drinking", Mstera School
bit of a History
It is difficult to say when the first ever samovar
was made, but they became widely spread throughout the country
with the introduction of tea and coffee.
The first samovar was probably made in Tula in 1820.
After a while, Tula became known as the center of Russian samovar
production (in addition to the production of munitions and other
metalworks). Samovar manufacture appeared to be very profitable.
By 1900, there were 40 samovar factories in Tula with an anual
production of around 630,000. The Batashev Metalworks, which
became one of the most famous factories, produced 110,000 samovars
alone each year.
were made from cupronic-kel, red and green copper, pinchbeck,
in some cases - from silver. Sometimes they were plated with
gold, silver, but basic metal was always - brass. In the course
of centuries samovar shapes changed. By the end of the 19-th
century their quantity reached 165. It was almost impossible
to mechanize samovars manufacture completely. Tools were also
unchanged. By hand assembly five-six samovars per day were
produced. The highest peak of samovar manufacture in Tula
is related to the 80s of the 19-th century.
reduction in the process of manufacture caused standardization
of samovar shapes. The so-called cylindrical samovars were
During all the 19-th century portable samovars were
produced in Tula, as a rule, they were many-sided, cubic,
Production technology was greatly improved for two
hundred years. There are used presses, conveyor lines, casting
under pressure. At "Shtamp" plant nickel-plating
automatic line was introduced. Some samovars are decorated
with art rolling. The plant produces samovars of different
types: coal of six versions, from 1956 electrical,
volume 2-3 litres, for buffets, combined and painted.
Folk traditions exist, develop. Beautiful samovars
made as presents are produced at Tula plant. Tula samovars
were often awarded with medals at native and international
samovars vary in interior construction and exterior decoration and
purpose. Samovars came in various shapes and sizes depending on their
use. Most were small, around 18 inches high, and were used in homes
and offices. Larger samovars could be several feet in hight and diameter.
Traveling samovars were equipped with handles and removable legs.
Others had compartments for preparing food. The metalworkers of the
Russian samovar factories provided exquisite detail in silver, silver
plating on copper, bronze, copper, steal, cast iron.
Tula samovars were spread all over Russia. At the fairs there
were sold samovars of different shapes: vase-shaped, pear-shaped,
wine-glass-shaped and others.
Samovars are a necessary feature of the Russian mode
of life and consequently a part of Russian applied art. Among monuments
of folk domestic art samovars occupy specific place. They may be considered
not only as domestic utensils, some of them are real works of applied
arts. Each true master wanted to astonish the customers be their creative
earliest samovars resembled English tea urns or tea vessels. Later,
at the end of eighteenth century, samovars began resembling vases
and antique urns.
Strict design, durability in combination with decorative
qualities caused interest to samovars on the part of the people
all over the world.
At the first samovars were sold by weight. If samovar were
heavier, it would be more expensive. All basis details of samovar
were manufactured from brass by the technique called "cold
stamping". The covering of inside surface is a foodstuffs tin.
Mostly samovars have an artistic painting of an outside surface.
"At the Tavern", Fedoskino School
Every samovar with hand painting has it's own style and is
not only article of arts and crafts, but also a good remembering gift.
Modern day Russians still use the samovar quite often. However
modern technology has provided for electric samovars which don't require
the use of charcoal. As in old, these samovars are found in kitchens,
offices, and even on Russian Trains. And the use of the samovar has
spread from Russia to much of eastern Europe.
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