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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A sterling silver tea caddy Chester /, circa 1913, tapering in form, fluted decoration to lower body flanked by lion head loop handles, on four lion paw feet, hallmarks rubbed, approximately 238gms silver, 13.5 cm high

A George III sterling silver fluted oval tea caddy by John Robins, London 1795, with engraved cartouche, initial 'B', scrolls and floral swags, 17 cm high, 385 grams

A c.1900 Dutch .835 silver decorative tea caddy, oval section, the cylindrical body with traditional repousse tavern scenes with multiple figures, the lobed shoulder below the decorative cap form lid with turned finial. 165gms. Height 11.2 cm

Edwardian sterling silver tea caddy, hallmarked London 1902 (Sibray, Hall & Co Ltd), 11.8 cm high, 176 grams

Antique silver plated tea caddy, wine funnel, and grape scissors

Georgian style silver plated tea caddy, with lion mask handles to sides, 12 cm high

George III Old Sheffield Plate tea caddy, with 2 key lock lift lid compartments, 16 cm wide, 18 cm high

A George IV sterling silver Chinoiserie tea caddy by John Wintle, London circa 1825, 17 cm high, 585 grams

A Victorian sterling silver octagonal Gothic tea caddy by Joseph Snr. and Joseph Jnr. Angell, mark over struck and engraved J Mayer, London 1845, 19 cm high, 575 grams

An apprentice silver plate tea caddy, etched to the inner lid, worked by Jas. W Prickett 3rd February 1891', height 13 cm

Sterling silver tea caddy, hallmarked Chester 1912, maker William Hutton & Sons Ltd, 10.5 cm high approx., 77g approx., as inspected

A George III sterling silver embossed foliate decorated baluster tea caddy by Thomas Foster, London 1765, 14 cm high

Victorian sterling silver tea caddy quatrefoil outline, hinged lid, gadrooned rim and base and lion mask & ring handles, London, 1898

A George III ivory octagonal tea caddy, the ivory panels with fine banded green stained ivory and other banding, silver shield escutcheon, remains of silver foil to lining, some distress. 10 cm x 7.5 cm x 12 cm

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,

A James Dixon & Sons silver-plated tea caddy

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