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Embassy

  • Object:

    Teapot, `Embassy'

  • Place of origin:

    Sheffield (made)

  • Date:

    1963 (made)
    1960 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    David Mellor, CBE, OBE, RDI, born 1930 - died 2009 (designer and maker)
    David Mellor Design Ltd. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, raised with a fibre handle and detachable lid.

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.674&A-1965

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 68, The Whiteley Galleries, case 5, shelf 1 []

This teapot is part of the 'Embassy' series, which won the Design Centre Award 1965. After a limited competition, in 1963 the Ministry of Works asked David Mellor to design a silver table service for use in British Embassies abroad. The idea was Lord John Hope's, who was Minister of Works in the Conservative Government under Harold Macmillan. He determined that in future British embassies should be built and furnished in an obviously modern style.

Mellor designed the entire silver collection, which included this coffee service, a set of cutlery with stainless steel blades, a tea kettle, condiment sets, engraved silver salvers and a range of candlesticks. Unfortunately, only two embassies were actually furnished with the embassy silver, those in Warsaw and Mexico City. The new minister cancelled the project, the result of a cost-cutting exercise.

Physical description

Teapot, silver with a synthetic handle, the raised body of teardrop shape resting on a plain circular base. The circular lid, detachable, follows the line of the body, the handle a straight bar recessed into the top of the lid within a hemispherical depression; the `D' shaped handle of synthetic fibre slots into two sockets attached to the side of the body, the spout in the shape of an elongated, everted curve, is placed at the base of the body opposite the handle.

Place of Origin

Sheffield (made)

Date

1963 (made)
1960 (designed)

Artist/maker

David Mellor, CBE, OBE, RDI, born 1930 - died 2009 (designer and maker)
David Mellor Design Ltd. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, raised with a fibre handle and detachable lid.

Marks and inscriptions

Base: maker DM for David Mellor, crown, sterling, date letter V (1963)

Dimensions

Diameter: 15.0 cm maximum, Height: 17.5 cm, Length: 23.5 cm

Object history note

Part of the "Embassy" series which won the Design Centre Award 1965, as the result of a limited competition, David Mellor was approached by the Ministry of Works in 1963 to design a silver table service for use in British Embassies abroad. The idea was Lord John Hope's who as Minister of Works in the Macmillan Government determined that in future British embassies should be built and furnished in an obviously modern style. Mellor designed the entire silver collection which included this coffee service, a set of cutlery with stainless steel blades, a tea kettle, condiment sets, engraved silver salvers and a range of candlesticks. Unfortunately, the only embassies which were actually furnished with the embassy silver were Warsaw and Mexico City. A change of minister brought about the cancellation of the project through a cost cutting exercise.

Historical significance: Winner of Design Centre Award in 1965.

Descriptive line

Teapot, `Embassy', silver with a synthetic handle, Sheffield hallmarks for 1963, mark of David Mellor

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Christopher Frayling, David Mellor master metalworker, Sheffield, Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust, 1998, p.39-40. ill.
Teleri Lloyd-Jones, David Mellor Design, Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club, 2009. p.17. ISBN. 978-1-85149-603-7
Lily Crowther, Award Winning British Design 1957-1988, London, V&A Publishing, 2012. p.16. ISBN. 9781851776733

Materials

Silver; Fibre

Techniques

Raising; Polishing

Categories

Design Council Award Winner; Metalwork; Silver; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares

Production Type

small batch

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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