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English Tea Caddy

We have this simple, yet lovely, tea caddy in our Collection. Structurally, it is a simple box of 12" x 6" x 6". There are no handles on either side of the caddy. The original records from 1978 indicate it was an English import, however, no age was provided, nor was the provenance beyond "my Uncle's estate."

 A brass ring affixed to the flat lid, perhaps to make it easier to open when the caddy is unlocked. It is obvious that attempts to repair missing inlay strips have been made in several sections.

It is neither as uniquely shaped as some, nor as elegant as others. There are not notes in the file with regard to the structural wood and what appears to be laminate exterior with strips of inlay work. Compared to others, this caddy was probably a more affordable version.

Tea, and sugar, were important commodities, sometimes difficult to obtain. This style of caddy was designed with two containers, with lids, to hold loose tea, usually black and green leaves. The center of the compartment held a bowl, usually well decorated, for sugar. The caddy could be locked to keep the items fresh, safe and control their use.

We are uncertain if this decorative dish is the original bowl to the caddy. Whether original or replacement from the past, it fits perfectly.

Some caddy boxes came with a measuring scoop for the tea, this one does not have one. There may have been one during its earlier years of use.

If you are interested in an interesting history of tea and tea caddy, try this link.


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