George Ii Silver Caddies in a Box

GBP 6,750.00

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Object Description

An excellent quality pair of antique sterling silver tea caddies and matching covered sugar bowl with gilt interior. All with cast silver bird finials and contained in a fitted Sheraton period wooden box with coloured flower and foliage inlays. The deeply embossed and chased silver decoration is particularly attractive and each caddy has a fine hand engraved coat of arms to the front. Heavy weight. The two caddies, for green and black tea, have the original lift off tops now drilled with holes to convert them into sugar shakers (muffinieres). Total weight of 3 boxes 882 grams, 28.3 troy ounces. Sugar casters height 15.5cm. Sugar bowl height 14cm, diameter 10.3cm. London 1752. Maker S Herbert & Co.

Samuel Herbert, London silversmith, apprenticed 1736 to Edward Aldridge I, of the Clothworkers Company, and goldsmith of Gutter Lane. Free 1744. 1st mark as largeworker entered 1747. 2nd mark as Samuel Herbert & Co 1750 (initials SH.HB), this unnamed partnership was very likely to have been with Henry Bailey who was apprenticed to and then journeyman to Edward Aldridge. In 1763 Herbert took Burrage Davenport as apprentice. Herbert’s workshop specialised in pierced platework particularly baskets and some epergnes.

Object History

Provenance. This tea caddy set was retailed in the 1950’s by the Court Jewellers C & H Wartski. See photo of the Wartski receipt.

Object Literature

Literature. Tea in the early 18th Century was expensive, and also there was a tax on tea, so early tea caddies were small and made in precious materials such as silver, shagreen or tortoiseshell which reflected the valuable contents within. A Tea Caddy is a box, jar, canister, or other receptacle used to store tea. The word is believed to be derived from “catty”, the Chinese pound, equal to about a pound and a third avoirdupois. The earliest examples that came to Europe were Chinese tea canisters in blue and white porcelain with china lids or stoppers. Some of the earliest silver examples have sliding bases (or tops) and the cap was used for measuring the tea. By the mid 18th century matching sets were available, with two caddies (for green and black tea) and a sugar bowl, all fitted into a wooden or shagreen case, often with silver mounts.

Object Condition

The silver boxes are in very good condition with no damage. Each is stamped underneath with a full set of matching English silver hallmarks, the sugar bowl lid with the lion and makers mark, the shaker lids are unmarked which is not unusual at this date. There is a possible small repair on the edge of the sugar bowl. The small caddies have been converted to sugar castors by drilling holes in the original lids. The wooden box dates to circa 1780 (about 30 years later than the silver boxes) and, although the condition is generally good, it has a few damages to the veneer and the handle is made of Old Sheffield plate.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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