Anker Coffee Pot

Type of object
Technique and material

Copper / brass, iron

19st century
24.5 x 9.5 cm / 30 x 10 cm

Worldwide, 255 kilograms of coffee are consumed per second – a huge amount – which explains the great variety of devices used in coffee preparation: the filter, French press, Italian stovetop espresso pot, electric coffee maker and pod machine.

Coffee was originally made by boiling the grounds directly in water in an oriental coffee pot of a type still common in Arab countries and some other places today. In the 17th century, as coffee drinking rapidly spread across Europe, ground coffee was put in a filter and boiling water poured over it. The two 19th-century Bernese coffee pots pictured here were not used for making coffee but for serving it. In the Anker style, with the characteristic curved handles, these elongated, three-legged pots are reminiscent of hot-chocolate pots from the same period. When designed for the table, they were often richly ornamented. The smaller of these two pots was for Sundays and holidays, and made of copper. The other was for weekdays and made of less expensive materials, i.e., brass and iron.