Tea urns first appeared in the 1760’s. A tea urn is a receptacle that is placed on top of a tea table and held hot water for making tea. The hostess would use the hot water and refresh the leaves to brew further pots of tea for herself and guests. Because these objects were on public display, they were often decorative and made of attractive materials such as copper, silver plate or sterling silver. This Victorian urn had a lamp below with which to keep the water warm and is highly decorative. Victorian electroplating, discovered in the 1840’s, allowed for a large variety of novelty shapes, patterns and uses. The hound finial and stag’s head base typify Victorian inventiveness in this relatively affordable medium that served a practical purpose.