Object Description

A good antique silver tea caddy box in the Queen Anne style. Britannia standard silver*. It has a sliding top and the cap comes off to be used as a tea measure. Excellent plain features. To the front is an engraved crest. Weight 202 grams, 6.4 troy ounces. Height 12 cms. Base 8.9 x 6.2 cms. London 1930. Maker Richard Comyns.

Biography – Richard Comyns. This prestigious firm of manufacturing silversmiths was originally established by William Comyns in circa 1859 when he purchased the business of Robert Tagg, an outworker of Rundell, Bridge & Co. William Comyns, silversmith, subsequently moved to 1 Percy Mews, Rathbone Place, then to 16 Silver Street, Golden Square, Soho, and to Beak Street, Regent Street. Additional premised were taken from circa 1903 at 54 Marshall Street, Soho. The firm became William Comyns & Son in circa 1885 when sons Charles and Richard were admitted to the partnership. William Comyns died in January 1916. The business became William Comyn & Sons Ltd in 1930, with R.H. Comyns as permanent governing director. In 1953 the company was purchased by Bernard Copping and is now one of the few surviving manufacturing silversmiths in London, with premises at Comyns House, Tower Street, London, WC2.

Object Literature

*Britannia Standard. 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. 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 pretty tea box is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Each piece is stamped with English silver hallmarks which are clear and matching. The sliding lid works well. Everything is original and complete.

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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Vault 27
The London Silver Vaults
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