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English dome top burl walnut tea caddy c1830
English dome top burl walnut tea caddy c1830


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English dome top burl walnut tea box c1820-40 in original condition including key. Measures 9.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches high and 5 inches deep. Tea was introduced to England from China sometime in the middle of the 17th century. Although there are earlier references of its use by traders in China, it was not until 1657 that we have the first account of its sale in England. Together with the fragrant leaf came the respect for this drink and the ceremonial way in which it was to be prepared and drunk. Tea was pivotal in the history of Britain in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. To understand the full impact of the importation of tea we have to consider the fiscal implications of this newly introduced commodity.The tea and opium trade were inextricably interlinked. Although wooden Tea Caddies were made early in the 18th century, it is not until the second half of the century that they were introduced in any numbers as a home style accessory. The word caddy derives from the Malay "kati" a measure of weight about 3/5 of a kilo. The 17th century tea containers were bottle shaped tea jars in china, glass, silver, enamel and straw-work covered metal. Tea caddies came in all shapes and styles and sizes. Some were wooden caddies, others were veneered in tortoiseshell, horn, straw-work and sadeli mosaic. Tea Caddies were made in wood in box form from the second quarter of the 18th century. The first such boxes were shaped like small chests and contained three metal canisters. They were mostly made of mahogany although a few early ones were of walnut. Very occasionally a chinoiserie box was made. Complete boxes of this type are difficult to find, especially in walnut. Chinoiserie boxes are exceedingly rare. Information obtained from

Item 8684:    $875

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