Learn about Tea Caddy

In the 17th century, tea was first introduced to Britain from the East Indies by the Dutch East India Company who had a monopoly on this trade, as well as some of the spices now in common use. As a result, the leaf tea from which the drink was made was an extremely expensive commodity, and so had to be appropriately stored and safeguarded. The tea caddy was devised for this purpose.

The first tea caddies, sometimes called tea canisters, as they were only single compartment vessels, were often of silver, and bottle shaped with a removable top that could be used to measure tea into the pot.

In the 18th century, taxes were imposed on tea making it even more expensive, and to safeguard the contents a lockable box was devised. The simple forms of these boxes had a removable receptacle to store the tea. The larger examples housed two receptacles side by side. The tea containers were often lined with a silver paper like substance presumably to protect the tea from moisture. more...
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A Victorian walnut tea caddy in the Gothic manner, second half 19th century, the casket shaped box with good figuration embellished with pierced brass, ivory and studs, with two lidded partitioned sections to the interior, the lid lined with the original w

Fine antique small brass & mother of pearl inlaid box/tea caddy, with key, approx 12.2 cm square

Black Forest tea caddy, in the form of a cabin with bears in foreground, lift up lid with fitted interior, approx 18 cm high, 30 cm wide, 19 cm deep

Antique Tunbridge ware tea caddy, with mosaic floral decoration & domed hinged lid, 14.5 cm high approx

Antique boxes: walnut sewing box and rosewood tea caddy (guttered). (2 items)

.