Otis House

Hot Water Urn and Tea Service

Coffee and tea were first introduced to England at the end of the 17th century and the popularity of these beverages created a need for elaborate serving equipment. Urns that held hot water were introduced to meet the demand for the great consumption of tea by larger groups, over longer periods of time. Urns adopted their name and design from classical ideas and styles. This silver tea urn originally belonged to Sally Otis and was passed down through the Otis family.

Hot Water Urn
England, 1780-1800

Elegant imported porcelain tea services were common fixtures in affluent Federal period homes and bone china became the standard for English porcelain in the early 19th century. It includes bone ash in its composition, which allows for a more stable final product. In a manufacturing setting, this means less damage due to cracking in the kiln and less waste or rejects, thus less cost.

Teapot, pitcher, covered sugar, waste bowl and teacups and saucers (partial set)
England, 1790-1820
Porcelain, bone china