George Garthorne(?), coffee pot, London, 1681-2. Museum no. 398-1921
When this coffee pot was made, drinking coffee was still very much a new and exciting thing to do. Coffee houses were springing up all over the city of London, so that men could sit together, discussing the issues of the day while drinking coffee.
David Mellor, coffee pot, 1963-4. Museum no. CIRC.674-1965
Coffee was an equally popular drink in the 20th century, and the style of pot is still of great importance. In the 1960s this pot won a competition for a modern silver table service designed specially for use in British embassies around the world. However, the only two embassies that actually had a set were the ones in Warsaw and Mexico City - the other sets were cancelled because the enterprise was too expensive.
Napper & Davenport, teapot, Birmingham, 1922-3. Museum no. 934-1983
This teapot was designed as a solution to a storage problem: how to store a large number of teapots without breaking off spouts and handles when catering on a large scale? The answer: create a cube shape that could be easily stacked. This teapot was meant to be purely practical but ended up as a bold modernist design.
Johannes Kuhnen, teapot, 1996. Museum no. 58-1996
This Australian teapot is a mixture of silver and coloured aluminium, in vibrant pink and blue.
Chocolate pot, London, 1714-1715, Silver with wooden handle. Museum no. M.1819-1944
David Willaume, chocolate cup and stand, 1680. Museum no. 6-1992
Compared with tea and coffee, chocolate was quite difficult to prepare and serve, but cups like this were used a lot. Chocolate was served scalding hot, with sugar and spices added for extra flavour.
Milk jug, silver, Sheffield, designed by Christopher Dresser, mark of James Dixon & Sons, 1880, Circ.279-c-1961
This milk jug was designed to be deliberately simple and functional. This jug would have stood out when it was made in the 1880s. The fashion at the time was for silver that imitated historic styles.
Kettle with stand and lamp, Silver, with wooden knobs and an ebony handle, London , 1705-1706. Museum no. M.172 to C-1919
Pear-shaped teapots were a standard feature of English silver from the late 17th century, and remained the dominant form until the late 1720s. They are generally quite plain, which makes the applied leaves on the domed cover of this example quite unusual. Simon Pantin (born about 1680; died 1728), the maker of this set, was a leading Huguenot silversmith working in London, and the applied leaf decoration may reflect something of the Huguenot stylistic influence.