Enahnce the Old World Feel With a Russian Samovar

When you have an eye for antiques and can appreciate the fine touches that Russian artisans have historically incorporated into their work, having a samovar from eBay may help you round out your collection. The samovar itself goes back thousands of years, and those that may be still on display in homes and other establishments could be a few hundred years old. There are also pieces made in recent years that can be used on a regular basis.

How do they heat liquid?

Traditional samovars boiled water through the use of coal. After those coals got hot enough, they were placed in a heating pipe so the heat would then transfer to the water. Some older models were operated in the same method but used pinecones instead of coal as the heating element.

As times evolved, other types of samovars were developed. Non-electric pieces are intended to be heated on the stove top. Electric ones have a built-in electric heating element. Note that the plugs used are typically designed to be compatible with the system in Russia and elsewhere in Europe.

What are Tula samovars?

Tula is a city where many of the first samovar factories were located. In the late 1700s and 1800s, many of the top artisans were working in this region. As a result, many of their products had fine details and the craftsmanship put into the work was evident. Some manufacturers developed their own unique stamp that they would use to mark each piece that came from their factory.

What are some design elements incorporated in these pieces?

Just like pieces of art, samovars are varied. You may categorize them by:

  • Size - Smaller pieces can be ideal for one or two cups of tea. Larger ones may be more ideal as a focal point for a dining room and as a kettle to boil enough water for a large gathering.
  • Material - They could be made out of iron, copper, polished brass, silver, gold, tin, nickel, or bronze.
  • Finish - You can find Russian samovars that have a variety of decorative designs and finishes. Many have a gold or silver finish; others have a painted surface that could include flowers, intricate geometric designs, and historic imagery.