A fascinating c. 1830 English Copper Lustre (Luster) Tea Canister (Caddy) with a lion finial and overglaze floral decorations. The tea box has a divided interior (presumably for 2 different kinds of teas), molded lion’s head faux handles and little feet that lift the Canister up off the table. The lid gives the appearance of a pagoda roof with is scalloped border and there are molded corner columns and a skirt around the base of the box that gives the appearance of a fence. There are large hand enameled overglaze flower sprays on the sides (basically the same on both sides) and smaller floral sprays on the lid around the reclining lion finial. The box measures 6 ½” x 5” x 6 ¾” to the top of the lion’s head. The little legs are 7/8” high.
The canister has some fascinating design/construction features: corners are “cut” so that the box is an irregular octagon; the corners have molded lines giving the appearance of columns, the lid has a beveled edge with scalloping; and to accommodate the internal divided, that lip of the lid has indentations.
The piece is in very fine (or better) condition: the copper lustre glaze is shiny and complete and the enameled floral decoration (pink and white flowers with green leaves) strong and complete. There are no cracks, lines, breaks or restorations. There is one tiny corner chip (more like a flake) on the lid (lower right corner as you look at the front of the lion), and some very minor edge rubbing. There are also a couple of very small chips on 2 of the feet. This piece is the only copper lustre tea canister I have ever seen. And the double-chamber box form is also unusual. Even in the 1830s, tea was expensive and it would have taken a pretty penny (or in this case, a Pretty Pence) to fill this with not one but 2 different kinds of tea.