Rare antique pre-WW2 Russian Samovar-Tea Urn
This is an antique Russian samovar, traditionally used for boiling water and making tea. No Russian home, from a peasant's hut to the Winter Palace, used to be without one. Made in the town of Tula - the world samovar capital - it dates back to Stalin years before WWII, when the multitude of pre-revolutionary samovar factories was nationalized and united. Unlike older models, samovars of that period are relatively scarce outside of Russia: there was virtually no emigration. It is inscribed "Made in Soviet Union" in English, which means it was intended for export (serving tea from a real Russian samovar was once fashionable in the high society of both Europe and North America). Export goods were made with especial care.
It is made of heavy brass, now beautifully aged. However a little Brasso will make it resplendent. It holds approximately 5 quarts, the spigot functioning perfectly, does not have leaks or cracks and is free of lime deposit. The inside pipe, originally used to hold hot charcoals and boil water, has been carefully removed - nowadays even the Russians prefer to boil their tea-water by less cumbersome means. But it can be used as a majestic centerpiece of any table, bar or buffet, dispensing hot or iced drinks with an old world grace. Use it for coffee, ice tea, beer - heck, use it for Russian vodka, if so inclined! Or just place it in your parlour as an ancient symbol of hospitality and an unfailing conversation piece.