Tea Infuser and Strainer

Designer Marianne Brandt German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 903

During its brief existence (1919–33) the Bauhaus produced a group of architects and designers whose work profoundly influenced the visual environment of the twentieth century. Brandt's tea infuser is the quintessential Bauhaus object. Only three inches high, its diminutive size results from its function. Unlike conventional teapots, it is intended to distill a concentrated extract, which, when combined with hot water in the cup, can produce tea of any desired strength. Here, the usual elements of a teapot have been reinvented as abstract geometric forms. The handle, a D-shaped slice of ebony set high for ease of pouring, provides a strong vertical contrast to the object's predominant horizontality. Although the pot’s functionality is carefully resolved, its visual impact lies in the uncompromising sculptural statement it makes. It is defiantly modern.

Tea Infuser and Strainer, Marianne Brandt (German, Chemnitz 1893–1984 Kirchberg), Silver and ebony

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