Kettle with Bird-Shaped Whistle
Decorative Arts and Design
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Founded in 1921, the Italian housewares company Alessi has earned a reputation for mass-producing stylish, well-made products for everyday use. During the 1980s and 1990s, famous American, French, and Italian architects such as Michael Graves, Alessandro Mendini, Aldo Rossi, and Philippe Starck worked for the firm, executing designs in a postmodernist style marked by the playful, humorous forms shown here.
Stainless steel, polyamide
8 3/4 x 10 x 8 5/8 in. (22.2 x 25.4 x 21.9 cm) (show scale)
Incised on bottom of kettle: "ALESSI / INOX 18/10 [slash between '18' & '10'] / ITALY"
Gift of Alessi S.p.A.
(a)Kettle (b) lid (c) whistle.
(a) Kettle: cylindrical form tapering upwards to opening at top with a flat base and decorated with near base with a horizontal band of raised dots rings. Cylindrical, protruding spout, attached to side. Rounded arch handle comprised of thin steel tube attached to kettle just above spout on one side and just below opening on opposite side; two-thirds of handle sheathed in a thick light-blue polyamide tube with molded bumps on underside forming a hand grip; adjacent to this grip at both ends are a small black disk and round red ball made of polyamide.
(b) Fitted lid: dome shaped topped by a spherical black polyamide finial.
(c) Whistle or stopper made of red polyamide; lower cylindrical section fits snuggly into mouth of kettle, upper section molded into shape of songbird alighting atop an arch.
Michael Graves (American, 1934-2015). Kettle with Bird-Shaped Whistle, Designed 1985. Stainless steel, polyamide, 8 3/4 x 10 x 8 5/8 in. (22.2 x 25.4 x 21.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alessi S.p.A., 1999.40.11a-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1999.40.11a-c_bw_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1999.40.11a-c_bw_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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