at the
Sign of the Hygra
2 Middleton Road
London E8 4BL
Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7254 7074
Fax: 00 44 (0) 870 1257669


Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
Tea Caddies and Tea

Tea Caddies and Tea



An exceptional Brazilian Rosewood Tea Caddy Inlaid with Brass C 1820.
An exceptional Brazilian Rosewood three compartment Tea Caddy finely inlaid with brass with Irish features. C 1820.

 The shape of this caddy combines elements and influences characteristic of the  nineteenth century. It is structured in an architectural form combining tapered  and pyramid lines which make this caddy a strong statement of the robust and elegant style of the Regency.

Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia Nigra) is the most prized cabinet wood of this period. The figuring of the wood in this caddy which contrasts dark and light striations is particularly striking.
This caddy measures 12.75 inches  wide by 6.5 inches deep by 8. inches high; 32.5cm wide by 16.5cm deep by 20cm high 

The brass inlay incorporates the shamrock leaf which is a distinctive Irish motif.
Detail showing the very subtle engraving in the rosewood, which has been preserved. This enlivens the composition. It is extremely rare that this survives. 
 The caddy has clearly been looked after carefully and has survived with its original polish which shows gentle patination.

The brass also is gently patinated  without signs of pitting or corrosion.  This is a pristine antique in the true sence.

There is a filet of ebony framing the outlines of the caddy which gives the shape a definition.
  The central compartment has the original heavy hand blown and cut crystal mixing bowl (see below). The bowl sits in a specially made recess, which is faced with mitered and book matched rosewood

The caddy stands on four turned  rosewood feet. 

 The caddy is in very good original condition and has a working lock.
The escutcheon shows a  Celtic influence in the combination of a strong center and flowing surrounding pattern.
The interior contains two lift out containers also in rosewood. The lid is lined in rosewood as are the facings and the bowl holding compartment. 

The interior bottom part of the caddy is lined in mahogany which is edged in rosewood.
The lift out containers are of mahogany  construction. The top visible part is  veneered with  rosewood. 

 The original lead lining inside the canisters is in very good untouched condition.  
 The caddy stands on turned rosewood feet. As with the upper edges there is a fillet of ebony let in to the bottom edge.
 This bowl is the original heavy hand blown crystal mixing bowl. 

The bowl like the caddy is in the typical form. This is deeply cut and has what is known as an Irish foot.

For the historical context of this caddy read the relevant part of Antigone's Online Antique Box Book. If you click here you will go there.

  © 2000 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly