Small Talk Tag: Pete Acquisto

You Say Samovar, I Say Wine Fountain

Acquisto Wine Fountain

We originally thought that one of the more than 100 pieces of Pete Acquisto’s miniature silver work in the T/m collection was a samovar. That is until Acquisto came to visit the museum in 2011. He prefers making miniatures in the style of American and English silversmiths from the 16th to the 18th centuries. So, it makes sense that the silver piece we thought was a Russian samovar is actually a wine fountain.

Wine fountains were used to rinse glasses before they were refilled for guests at the dining table. The Victoria and Albert Museum has a similar wine fountain on loan in their collection. The V&A’s silver wine fountain was made by Pierre Platel, a prestigious Huguenot goldsmith, in London, England.

Similar to Platel, Acquisto is also prestigious, holding the International Guild of Miniature Artisans’s (IGMA) highest honor as a Fellow member. IGMA was founded in 1978 to promote fine miniatures as an art form. Fellow membership is awarded to those, like Acquisto, whose work develops into the epitome of excellence. We couldn’t agree with them more!

Cast Me a Samovar

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Like many miniature artists, Pete Acquisto transferred his skills in a full-scale craft (for him, jewelry making) to miniatures. After selecting and researching classic antique silver styles and forms, he uses casting to create each work. He likes to choose increasingly difficult pieces, such as this samovar, or beverage dispenser, in the T/m collection. Samovars were used in Central and Eastern European countries to heat water for tea.

Can’t imagine how someone can make something so intricate, so small? Check out this video from the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures to hear Acquisto talk about his work. Then, see more of Acquisto’s miniature reproductions of antique silver in 1:12 and 1:24 scale online at the Acquisto Gallery of Fine Art.