9513
George III Silver Tea Caddy

Date: 1775

Maker: Richard Morton, Sheffield

Country: England

£1,850
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A very elegant antique sterling silver tea caddy of oval form with a hinged lid, lock and key. Beautifully hand engraved with flower and swag decoration. Bead borders. The lid has a flush inset hinge and ring top. Weight 332 grams, 10.6 troy ounces. Top 12.2 x 8 cm. Height 8.7 cm. Sheffield 1775. Maker Richard Morton & Co.

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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