Inside Antiques, the
newest program from the BBC Antiques Roadshow, takes an in
depth look at tea caddies with Antigone and Joseph talking with
presenter Lars Tharp.
Following each week’s
Antiques Roadshow on BBC1, Inside Antiques will explore
in depth a single one of the many subjects raised in the
program 7/12 of the series explores the origins, social history, techniques of
manufacture and state of the market for tea caddies and chests.
tea caddy program is scheduled to be first shown on January 25th
2004 on BBC4 just after the Antiques Roadshow.
Activities in making the
program and some pre and après.
Here are some of the caddies
and chests filmed for the program.
Chinese export lacquer tea chest with
scenes of tea trading the interior fitted with metal
canisters, circa 1840.
A metal jar shaped tea
caddy, covered in straw work. The particularly fine work
in geometric patterns is characteristic of early
continental work. Such work was executed both by nuns in
Catholic orders and lay craftsmen and women. The front
and back are decorated with watercolor, and I think ink,
pictures and writing both under glass. The back picture
depicts a heart with a crown of thorns. The front is of
particular historical significance.
The female figure is
that of H. Ioanna. That is Jeanne de Valois, daughter of
Louis XI of France and Charlotte of Savoy. Born sickly
was married off at nine
for political expediency. The marriage was annulled when
her husband became King Louis XII. She devoted herself
to religious works, one of her lasting legacies being
the founding of the Order of the Annonciades.
writing on the caddy, in old Dutch, is a dedication
and a plea to her for protection: “Holy
queen of Vranckriyck and Fendatersse of the holy order of our dear
ladies of the Annunciation. Pray for us. Grant us the
favors we ask of you especially for Florecyn and
died in 1505 and was beatified in 1738. In hagiography
she is depicted in the same colors as on the caddy,
with a small haloed boy by her side. On the caddy
however she wears a crown and the shield at her feet
bears three fleur-de-lis, the symbol of the kings of
France. On the inscription she is given the secular
title of Queen, which dates the caddy before her
beatification. Taken with the style and the mention of
specific names, this caddy must have been an
individual commission executed in the Low Countries
sometime during the seventeenth century by Annonciades
A tea chest incorporating both inlay and carved
elements of decoration. The separate ornament and brass
line are typical of early Regency. The carving is more
characteristic of late 18th century work. The form of
the box too is exceptional in that it combines the
Egyptian inspired tapering sarcophagus lines, with three
dimensional effects interpreted through carving and
slightly curving lines.
The interior features heavier brass ornament,
completing the sense of weightiness which permeates the
whole composition. A truly monumental looking piece,
very much in the spirit of Egyptian neoclassicism.
13.5" wide. Early 19th century.
A caddy veneered all around in pressed
tortoiseshell. The design is of a characteristic
of arched windows sectioned in patterns reminiscent of
ecclesiastical structures. 7.5" wide. Mid 19th
Mahogany tea chest,
Bombe shaped tea chest
veneered in walnut, the interior with metal canisters,
Glass canister tea chest at
A rosewood veneered tea chest of very superior
quality, featuring early Regency decoration. The brass
inlay is restrained and at the same time robust,
featuring straight lines and separate ornament of the
Irish shamrock. The box is also edged in brass,
strengthening the outline both aesthetically and
practically. The feet and handles are of strong
neoclassical form. The chest is fitted with heavy
crystal canisters and matching bowl. The back is lined
in leather, punctuated with silk tufts. This interior
arrangement, which was very costly at the time, is
rare. 13" wide. Circa 1810.
Every side of the four lift out canisters has
painted flowers painted in exquisite detail.
Painted tea chest, the
landscape on the top attributable to Horatio
McCulloch, circa 1835. The inside profusely painted
with pictures of flowers and having four lift-out
canisters and two cut-crystal bowls.
We have published an article on the web
telling the story of the boxes made in Cumnock
Scotland. This amazing tea chest is illustrated
Boxes Painted by Artists
For more information on the
history of Tea caddies and chests follow the links to our website
History of Tea Caddies
Boxes Painted by Artists
of tea and opium trade
Reproductions and Abuses
There is also a thumbnail index
to more pictures of particular tea caddies and chests: Thumbnail
Index of Tea Caddies and Chests
And of course there is our book
published by Schiffer
There is more information
about the book including the table of contents at:
Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society -- 1700--1880, ISBN:
0764316885 Antigone Clarke & Joseph
O'Kelly, A Schiffer Book for collectors.
Tharp has is own website at www.tharp.co.uk
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