Dating antique tea caddies
However fortunately the intricacy of the work makes restoration impossible and thus surviving examples have escaped the abuse of "re finishing". The controlled use of precious materials in simple shapes enhanced its natural beauty.
( All English caddies of this period were lined with a tin lead alloy "tea pewter" except the ones, which contained removable metal containers.
Anglo-Indian ivory and Chinese export lacquer caddies were brought from the end of the 18th century.
However serious importation did not start until the beginning of the 19th century (SEE ANGLO-INDIAN and The Chinese caddies had removable soft metal containers, which were engraved with floral or oriental designs.
They are made of the old Clay type of material and they are small single containers.
Wooden caddies of this period were usually finished in wax and turpentine and good examples have built up a mellow rich patina.These provided the ladies of the time with a genteel pastime; they decorated them with rolled up pieces of paper in different patterns.After being rolled up, the papers were cut in short lengths and stuck on the wooden frame.The shape of the caddies was often enhanced by standing them on turned wooden feet or on feet made of brass, sometimes gilded.The metal feet were also inspired from the ancient world and took the form of animal paws, or bird talons.