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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Georgian mahogany tea caddy, sarcophagus shape. No interior fittings. Length 21 cm

Early Victorian mahogany tea caddy, 35.5 cm wide, 18 cm high

Late Regency mahogany tea caddy, cross banded in rosewood and strung, original lion side handles, with 3 section inlaid interior, C.1830, 31.5 cm x 17 cm, 19 cm high approx.

Late Regency mahogany sarcophagus tea caddy, with 3 section interior, lids with original turned ivory knobs, 27 cm x 13.5 cm, 15 cm high approx.

A George III flame mahogany inlaid tea caddy, rectangular form, satinwood and ebony strung, shell and floral inlays, a two-compartment interior. Compressed bun feet. 20.3 cm x 13 cm x 13.5 cm

A William IV mahogany Sacophagus tea caddy, opening to a central recess for a bowl, and two tea caddy compartments, 23 cm high

A Regency mahogany tea caddy with marquetry and brass fittings, with fruitwood & ebony stringing, with original internal sectioning, 12.5 cm high

A Regency mahogany tea caddy with two boxes with hinge tops, on bun feet mixing bowl missing. 18 cm high, 31 cm wide, 15 cm deep.

A Georgian mahogany tea caddy with Mixing jar early 19th century, with two tea canisters and early glass mixing jar. Height 16 cm. Width 30 cm. Depth 16 cm Australiana

A Georgian mahogany tea caddy, early 19th century, the simple rectangular box with a single tea compartment with remnant tin lining and a scallop rimmed glass mixing bowl. Height 14 cm. Width 24 cm. Depth 13 cm

A Georgian mahogany dome top tea caddy on bracket feet, no key

An antique mahogany tea caddy, 19th century, of sarcophagus form with a stepped square dome lid, with cross banding, side ring handles and squashed bun feet, enclosing a fitted interior with two lidded side compartments with remnant tin lining and a circul

Victorian mahogany tea caddy, of sarcophagus shape, inlaid with brass. Height 21 cm. Length 31.5 cm

Georgian mahogany tea caddy, with brass fittings, width 22 cm, diameter 13 cm approx

A Regency mahogany tea caddy with two cannisters and later amber glass mixing bowl, early 19th century. 18 cm high, 15 cm wide, 15 cm deep

Mahogany ornate inlay tea caddy (conch shell inlay) 19th century

Antique English mahogany tea caddy, fitted with original tin canisters, central bronze carry handle and satinwood banding, approx 18 cm high, 26 cm wide, 18 cm deep

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

Antique Georgian tea caddy with string inlay mahogany, approx 14 cm high, 28 cm wide, 14 cm deep

A George III mahogany tea caddy, early 19th century (2). A George III mahogany tea caddy, early 19th century of sarcophagus form, the domed lid with boxwood stringing and parquetry banding opening to reveal compartments for caddies and a crystal mixing bow

A Victorian mahogany sarcophagus tea caddy with egg and dart moulding. Width 23 cm

A Victorian mahogany sarcophagus tea caddy with ebony stringing. Width 38 cm

A Georgian mahogany oval tea caddy, fruitwood inlay and diamond lozenge escutcheon. Width 13 cm

19th century mahogany tea caddy, satinwood banded decoration, the interior fitted with six caddies. Approx 15 cm high, 45.5 cm wide, 28 cm deep

Victorian mahogany & inlaid tea caddy in rectangular form with a removable insert & a cut glass tea bowl. The lid on the left compartment has come away from the hinge. Dimensions 30 x 15 x 14 cm

A Regency mahogany and fruitwood tea caddy, rectangular, with bone diamond-lozenge escutcheon and with fitted interior. Width 23 cm

A Regency mahogany and fruitwood sarcophagus tea caddy with brass feet, ring handle and foliate key escutcheon. Width 20 cm

A Regency mahogany sarcophagus tea caddy on bun feet; fitted interior. Width 20 cm

A Regency mahogany and fruitwood tea caddy with batwing-fluted oval paterae; fitted interior with single lidded compartment. Width 10.5 cm

A Regency mahogany, walnut and fruitwood tea caddy, sarcophagus form with diamond-lozenge escutcheon; fitted interior. Width 27 cm

Georgian mahogany sarcophagus tea caddy with two interior lidded containers and a cut glass bowl. One foot is loose and some damage to one corner. Dimensions 33 x 18 x 16 cm

Regency mahogany tea caddy three section interior, all parquetry banded with marquetry panels

Antique George III inlaid mahogany tea caddy, with drop ring mask head handles, all standing claw and ball feet