Antique English spice box, c.1880-1900 – a Japanned red caddy tray with gilt trim and six round canisters. The canister set is for the traditional six spices - NUTMEG, CLOVES, CINNAMON, ALLSPICE, MACE and GINGER. One of the canisters is a shaker for nutmeg – a variation on similar spice sets at the time that included a nutmeg canister and separate grater instead of a shaker. A couple of the canisters were re-purposed to hold other spices and retain fragments of their early paper labels adhered to the lids. The interior of a few of these canisters is still infused with the aroma of the spice they once housed. The paint, is a bright ketchup-red, though well-worn, and much used, as shown. It is original, as is the gilded lettering.
The exterior surfaces have been cleaned and waxed to preserve the patina without removing historic wear that is commensurate with the age and utilitarian nature of the set. The set is constructed from strong tinned steel. No restoration.
Size: 8 ½” x 5 ½” x 2 ½” depth. Maximum height to the handle is 6”. Each canister is 2 ¾” in height and 2 ½” in diameter.