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Tea Rex celebrates 30th anniversary of the world’s most iconic kettle

Tea Rex celebrates 30th anniversary of the world’s most iconic kettle

Alessi's iconic 9093 kettle - with its 'singing' bird spout- has gotten a supernatural make-over for its 30th anniversary.

In 1985, American architect and designer Michael Graves turned the whistling kettle into an icon of 20th century design when he created a stainless steel kettle for Italian brand Alessi.

It became an instant hit, selling 1.5 million pieces until today, and is on display in museums around the world – from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum to The Australian National Gallery in Canberra.

What set it apart from others was a small detail: instead of a simple whistle, the kettle’s spout was crowned by a small, red bird which would sing when the water boiled.

To celebrate the iconic piece’s 30th anniversary, Alessi’s president Alberto Alessi asked Graves to revisit his design – and he did, paying homage to the bird by turning it into a mightier version of itself: a dragon.

‘I imagined a new evolution in the history of our kettle. One where our little bird might transform into a superhero,’ Graves said.

The bird may have evolved into a dragon, but it'll sing rather than roar once the water boils.
The bird may have evolved into a dragon, but it’ll sing rather than roar once the water boils.

‘A reptilian creature that is at once prehistoric, mythological and futuristic. I chose the dragon imagery and its jade green color because of the rich cultural heritage found in Chinese folklore that uses the dragon to symbolize power and good luck.’

Apart from bringing good luck to homes around the world, the friendly dragon (it has a smile on its face and definitely doesn’t breathe fire!) is easy to hear when it whistles, while its wingspan means it can be easily removed from the spout without any burned fingers.

Tea Rex comes in three versions: the whistle can be either jade-colored, copper or, in a limited edition, brass. The anniversary pack also includes the original bird whistle in new colors.

Available directly through Alessi or through approved retailers, prices start from £99.95 (€137.39, $154.19).