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George III Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy

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George III Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy

- Item No.

Item Details

  • Period:
    18th Century
  • Origin:
This beautiful George III tea caddy is enveloped in elegant tortoiseshell. Caddies of rare tortoiseshell are especially prized, for they are among the scarcest and most luxurious examples produced. The tortoiseshell panels are separated by fine ivory banding and lining along the base and rims. The handle, keyhole, center plaque and fine piqué detailing are crafted of fine English silver. 

Tea was introduced to England from China sometime in the middle of the 17th century and quickly became an expensive and popular item. The country's respect for this drink is reflected in the ceremonial way in which it was stored, prepared, and drunk. With its rectangular shape, this caddy contains two interior compartments for holding different types of tea leaves. Tea connoisseurship developed into something of an art form among the elite, and accordingly, more than one type of tea was necessary for refined palettes. Double chests such as this could hold two types of leaves, usually one green and one black variety. 

Circa 1790

4 1/2" high

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Price: $9,850
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