Object Description

A good quality early English silver caddy of plain rectangular design with canted corners. *Britannia standard silver. The lift off cap doubles as a tea measure. Hand engraved to one side with a crest, to the other there is a decorative monogram. Weight 118 grams, 3.7 troy ounces. Height 16.5 cms. Base 6.2 x 4.2 cms. London 1710. Maker Richard Watts. This box matches #9034 George III tea caddy.

Biography – Richard Watts, London silversmith, apprenticed to Christopher Canner 1698, free 1707/8. 1st mark entered as largeworker 1710. 2nd mark, sterling, entered 1720.

Object Literature

*Britannia Standard silver. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent pure. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.

Object Condition

This lovely antique silver tea box is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. All original and in good working order. Stamped with a full set of English silver marks on the bottom of the body and on the base, cap unmarked. Minor dinks.

Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Object Classification

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