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Tea canister

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1780-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satinwood veneer, with tulipwood and stained wood, brass stringing, ivory finial and ivory key-plate

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Thomas Sutton, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    W.94&A-1921

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery, case 2 []

Object Type
Tea caddies were used to store loose tea leaves. They were called 'canisters' until about 1800, when they became known as 'caddies', the term we use today. They were placed on the table as tea was served, and were therefore decorated in a variety of fashionable styles.

Design & Designing
The caddy is in the form of a classical urn or vase, in the Neo-classical style fashionable in the 1770s and 1780s. The border veneer of strips of light and dark wood imitates the fluting, or grooves, which were often carved into Neo-classical furniture. Knife cases in the shape of vases were also popular dining-room accessories.

Materials & Making
Pale satinwood veneer was often used for Neo-classical furniture and fittings such as this. The edges are accentuated with narrow lines of brass inlay. The round knob at the top of the cover, and the key-hole plate are made of ivory. There is an inner lid, to help keep the tea fresh, of satinwood inlaid with a rosette. Tea caddies had locks for security because the price of tea was high.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1780-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Satinwood veneer, with tulipwood and stained wood, brass stringing, ivory finial and ivory key-plate

Dimensions

Height: 23 cm, Width: 11.5 cm

Object history note

Made in Britain

Categories

Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; British Galleries

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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