Rare Antique Hand Made 'Folk Art' Cottage Tea Caddy
Date: circa 1800 - Reference: SN813
A very rare antique 'Folk Art' Tea Caddy in the form of a country cottage housing three compartments fro loose tea.
The exterior of this delightful and charming, hand decorated, 'Cottage Tea Caddy' is adorned with painted windows, doors and surrounding plants.
The roof tips back to reveal the interior of the cottage tea caddy which features three compartments for storing different types of loose tea.
It is in good useable condition but due to it's age and many years of use it has worn in areas. It comes with a fully working lock and tasselled key.
Height 18 cm - 7 inches
Width 19.5 cm - 7 3/4 inches
Depth 11.5 cm - 4 1/2 inches
THE HISTORY OF ANTIQUE TEA CADDIES
In England in the 1700s, tea was an expensive commodity. To keep it safe, people would store it in a lockable Tea Chest or Tea Box, which eventually became known as a Tea Caddy (the word caddy is derived from the Malay 'kati', a unit of weight by which tea was sold). As tea was too expensive to risk leaving in the presence of servants, the caddy would be kept in the drawing room. Subsequently, the Tea Caddy became an important & fashionable accessory for the home. Tea Caddies were made in a huge variety of styles and materials. Some contained glass bowls. The bowl is believed to be either for sugar, or for the purpose of mixing different varieties of tea to the drinker's personal taste. As tea became cheaper in the early 1800s, its use was much more widespread, increasing the demand for tea caddies. However, by the late 1800s when tea could be bought pre-packed, the demand for tea caddies as functional items gradually declined. Today Tea Caddies are sought after as decorative pieces, in all shapes & forms. Due to the high price of tea, caddies were almost always lockable to prevent servants dipping into it. The Folk Art tea caddies were produced in England around the were also many English factories producing high quality goods.