From Georgian and through Victorian times, wood boxes and caddies appeared everywhere in the traditional English country or town house. They were made to take care of every type of manufactured or hand-made small household articles. Some of the more popular forms included work boxes, tea caddies and stationary boxes. Good houses would not be complete without these pieces that were both functional and decorative.
This circa 1840 rosewood tea caddy is inlaid with a design featuring mother-of-pearl. There are circles with a donut hole in the middle laid out between two-and-a-half and five inches on center. Between the mother-of-pearl circular designs are long bands of narrow mother-of-pearl stringing. The caddy is sarcophagus-shaped with turned and carved rosewood bands of trim along the raised top and along the bottom edge of the caddy. One of the most scrumptious features of this caddy is its original bun feet that set off the shape quite well.
The escutcheon for the lock is bone. Inside the caddy are two compartments for the tea. There are bone turned knobs for the handles. There is the original inside with its red painted wood that houses the glass tea caddy, which would have been used to mix the teas to create a favorite blend. Inside the lid is the original piece of tan stamped or pressed velvet.
At 12-1/4 inches wide, 6-1/4 inches deep, and 9 inches high, this caddy is slightly larger than most. But one of its most impressive features is the beautiful grain and patina of the rosewood. It is the type of caddy you just want to slide your hands across; the wood is that gorgeous. Its color is also outstanding.
This tea caddy has a glass tea bowl that is not original to it but it is now associated with it.
The condition of this piece is superb. It is a quality piece and deserves merit for being in such fine condition with its original brass hinges and lock.
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