George III Silver Caddy Box

Date: 1787

Maker: Charles Chesterman

Country: England

Stock Number: 9314

A very elegant antique sterling silver tea caddy of oval form with a hinged lid. Beautifully hand engraved with a lovely decoration of flower swags, bands of bright engraving top and bottom, and a circular cartouche front and back. Uninscribed. The lid has a flush inset hinge and a carved wooden finial. Weight 370 grams, 11.8 troy ounces. Base 13 x 9 cm. Height 13 cm to top of finial. London 1787. Maker Charles Chesterman.

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.
Some of the earliest silver examples have sliding bases (or tops) and the cap was used for measuring the tea. By the mid eighteenth 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. During the late 1700's the locking silver tea caddy was introduced with its own key which the lady of the house kept on the chatelaine around her waist. Double locking tea caddies in silver are rare.

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