George II Silver Caddies in a Box

Date: 1752

Maker: Samuel Herbert And Company

Country: England

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An excellent quality pair of antique sterling silver tea caddies and matching covered sugar bowl with gilt interior. All with cast silver bird finials and contained in a fitted Sheraton period wooden box with coloured flower and foliage inlays. The deeply embossed and chased silver decoration is particularly attractive and each caddy has a fine hand engraved coat of arms to the front. Heavy weight. The two caddies, for green and black tea, have the original lift off tops now drilled with holes to convert them into sugar shakers (muffinieres).

Total weight of 3 boxes 882 grams, 28.3 troy ounces.

Sugar casters height 15.5cm. Sugar bowl height 14cm, diameter 10.3cm.

London 1752.

Maker S Herbert & Co.

Provenance. This tea caddy set was retailed in the 1950's by the Court Jewellers C & H Wartski. See photo of the Wartski receipt.

Literature. Tea in the early 18th Century was expensive, and also there was a tax on tea, so early tea caddies were small and made in precious materials such as silver, shagreen or tortoiseshell which reflected the valuable contents within. A Tea Caddy is a box, jar, canister, or other receptacle used to store tea. The word is believed to be derived from "catty", the Chinese pound, equal to about a pound and a third avoirdupois. The earliest examples that came to Europe were Chinese tea canisters in blue and white porcelain with china lids or stoppers. Some of the earliest silver examples have sliding bases (or tops) and the cap was used for measuring the tea. By the mid 18th century matching sets were available, with two caddies (for green and black tea) and a sugar bowl, all fitted into a wooden or shagreen case, often with silver mounts.

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