Tea Caddy thumbnail 1
Tea Caddy thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Tea Caddy

1780-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Wooden tea caddies have the greatest variety of decoration. They were popular from about 1780 to 1810. Most were square, oval or octagonal in shape. Often made in satinwood, harewood light coloured mahogany or walnut they were usually painted and occasionally combined with applied prints or engravings


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Tea Caddy
  • Key
Materials and Techniques
Painted wood
Brief Description
Hexagonal, painted tea caddy. Painted with flowers and a with an oval print of figure holding a garland on the front..
Physical Description
Tea caddy, hexagonal, of white wood painted with sprays and bunches of flowers in colours; on the top and front are oval prints representing female figures.
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.4cm
  • Width: 15.2cm
  • Depth: 8.9cm
Credit line
Given by Thomas Sutton, Esq., in memory of his wife
Object history
This tea caddy was part of a large gift of tea caddies given by the collector Thomas Sutton in 1919. [R.P. 19/3782].
Historical context
Tea leaves were expensive, so were usually stored in lockable containers. Early tea containers were referred to as canisters, kept in locked boxes known as tea chests. Smaller wooden boxes with one or two fixed inner compartments for loose tea became popular from about 1780 onwards and by 1800 were generally known as tea caddies. The word 'caddy' is thought to derive from the Malay word for a measure of weight (kati ) equivalent to about half a kilogram
Subject depicted
Summary
Wooden tea caddies have the greatest variety of decoration. They were popular from about 1780 to 1810. Most were square, oval or octagonal in shape. Often made in satinwood, harewood light coloured mahogany or walnut they were usually painted and occasionally combined with applied prints or engravings
Collection
Accession Number
W.82:1-1919

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record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL