Everything you wanted to know about samovars but were afraid to learn Arabic for

Almost every samovar design I remember seeing in Iran can be found in this Russian video documentary on these useful art objects. The narration is voiced over for an Arabic speaking audience, but you don’t need to understand the words to delight in these amazing designs.


Iran’s handmade samovars are made in Boroojerd (varsho saazi). Sadly it is a disappearing art in Iran. This  Russian video with voiced over narration for an Arabic speaking audience shows an astonishing variety of these familiar and useful art objects, including some Iranian ones. Some say the Russians perfected the samovar from a Mongolian cooking urn, others mention a 3600 year old proto-samovar found in Shaki, Azarbaijan.

Video highlights:

1.  My mom’s dowry samovar– 4:24

2. Shah (Qajar) mentioned–8:40

3. Plenty of design action between 9:00 and 12:40 (with brief old Russian film interlude)

4. My favorite design (she’s “hot”)–9:22

5. How to stoke a samovar with your boot–15:10

6. Have no idea what cosmonaut Uri Gagarin has to do with samovars (he had tea with Queen Elizabeth?)–21:45 

7. Please someone, make a documentary of the Boroojerd samovar artists before they’re all gone.

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