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...

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A Meiji Period (1868-1911 tea caddy, with applied silver chased decoration, the hinged domed top enclosing compartments. 23 cm high, 16 cm wide, 12 cm

Georgian Irish sterling silver tea caddy, marked Dublin, 1826, JL?, approx 234g & 10 cm high

A Georgian tea caddy, circa 1810, turtle shell and timber with silver name plate, 14 cm high, 16 cm wide, deep

A sterling silver tea caddy, 1911 Birmingham, with rubbed maker's mark, the square section caddy with canted edges having a shaped and hinged dome lid with ball knop; hallmarked underside and to interior of lid, silver weight 130gr height 9.5 cm

A Continental silver tea caddy, 1944-1968 period Italy, with .800 standard and provincial stamp for Alessandria, the straight-sided oval caddy of slightly tapering form with a low domed lid and finial, engraved decoration surrounding plain cartouches and t

George iii sterling silver tea caddy with an ebony finial marked London, 1790, WS 220g

A silver topped cut glass tea canister, probably 19th century. the straight-sided glass canister with notched canted corners and rounded shoulders, with star forms to both faces and a flat base with a ground pontil, the unmarked silver collar with a thread

Pair of antique sterling silver lidded tea caddies, with acanthus leaf finials and pierced work leaf borders, crested with a Crown over Po, marked Jd&S Sheffield 1906, 860g, 30 cm high (2)

Art Nouveau sterling silver tea caddy cylindrical shape with detachable lid, stylised Art Nouveau floral panels, Sheffield, 1901, maker Roberts & Belk limited

A Victorian silver plain canister form tea caddy, most gilt remains to exterior and interior, plain cylinder form, recessed lid, a fine engraved elaborate crest and arms for Spencer-Bulkeley [Wynn], 3rd Baron Newborough (1803-1888) [Sable three fleurs-de-l

A pair of George III sterling silver lidded vases or tea caddies 1789 London, with maker's marks for Robert Sharp. Of elegant neoclassical form each with a waisted neck, dome lid and a tapering body flowing to a slender pedestal and a square base, with lon

A George V octagonal silver tea caddy, Hardy Bros / Birmingham / 1913, with a tapering cover, rising to a scroll handle, approximately 184gms, 14 cm high

An 800 silver tea caddy, the hexagonal and lobed body with a floral and scroll engraved lid, approximately 170 gms, 7.5 cm high

An Edward VII sterling silver tea caddy by William Hutton, Birmingham 1904; 10 cm high, 165 grams

Antique sterling silver Tea caddy with fluted body and hinged lid. Marked Sheffield, Harry Atkin, 1915, approx 302g,

Small silver plated architectural l tea caddy of small scale, approx 10 cm high, 5.5 cm Sq

A 19th century European silver tea caddy, cylindrical with close-fitted cover, relief-decorated with scenes of putti in scroll-bordered reserves; marked for the importer J.G.Smith, London 1898. Height 14 cm.

A George III sterling silver oval bright cut tea caddy by Robert Hennel I, London 1776 13 cm high

Tea caddy. Sterling silver hallmarked London 1900. Height 8 cm

Superb antique tortoise shell and ivory tea caddy, fitted with two sections, silver string inlay, engraved medallion to the top, all standing on ball feet, approx 16 cm high x 19.5 cm long, 12 cm depth

Sterling silver tea caddy hallmarked Birmingham 1911, 74 grams approx, 10 cm high

A Regency rosewood brass inlay tea caddy, circa 1820, William Batley London Holborn, of sarchophagus form with twin ring handles, the interior with two hinged lidded compartments, embelished with scrolling brass inlay throughout, with original Williams Bat

Silver on copper early Victorian tea caddy, approx 11 cm high, 8.5 cm diameter

A William IV mahogany tea caddy, sarcophagus form, the interior with three compartments, one ivory knob remaining, captured ring side handles with lion face back plate, on four bun feet. (Small repair to lid). 36 cm x 21 cm x 19 cm

A Georgian tea caddy, tortoise shell & silver with ivory internal trim & knobs, early 19th century. 13 cm high, 17.5 cm wide, 10 cm deep

Sterling silver tea caddy hallmarked London 1910, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Ltd stamped to base, 12.5 cm high approx.

Royal Doulton Queens Ware Dame tea caddy with silver lid marked STER, 14 cm high approx

A Chinese rattan tea caddy with a rose medallion teapot and two cups, Qing Dynasty, mid to late 19th century, in original condition, a flower, bird and insect sprigged straight sided pot with a recessed lid and wire handles and two associated tea cups in a

A pair of George III sterling silver tea caddies. Maker Robert Hennell, London 1794

A sterling silver tea caddy, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company Limited, London, 1904 of knife box form, the lid surmounted by a cloverleaf loop handle, opening to reveal a gilt interior, engraved 'NM' 360 gms, 10 cm high, 9 cm wide, 9 cm deep. Property f

A George I style silver tea caddy of baluster form with close-fitted cover; C & R Comyns, London 1917. Height 13 cm. Weight 265g

A George II pedestal footed sterling silver tea caddy, 1750 London, with maker's mark for Samuel Taylor, specialist caddy maker, of shaped bulbous form and decorated in the rococo manner, bearing a contemporary coat of arms and a crest to the opposite cart

English hallmarked sterling silver Edward VII tea caddy having a plain straight -sided cylinder shape body, a pull-off lid that acts as a measure, sitting on a flat base. Stamped 144444 Birmingham, 1910, maker Martin, Hall & Co condition good to fair, dent

A Decahedron ivory veneer and brass tea caddy the panelled body articulated with brass, with a brass plate engraved 'M' within a brass inlaid dotted border at the front, 12 x 11 x 7 cm

A George III silver tea caddy by Solomon Hougham, London 1801. Of faceted oval form, the step moulded cover with ivory finial, the body with repousse bands bordering bright cut facets with ribbon and floral chassed banding, 597 grams, 16 cm width x 16.5 cm

Oriental lacquer tea caddy, with silver plated inserts

A late Victorian silver tea caddy, plain oval cylindrical with close-fitted cover; Chester 1900