A Wondrous Regency Three Compartment Painted Tea Caddy
This is a truly rare and wondrous Tea Caddy. Penwork
and painted caddies are very rare. This one has the added unusual feature
of the "Regency" green colour instead of the more usual black.
It is painted all over with chinoiserie scenes framed in stylised scrolls
of leaves and flowers on a sycamore ground.
It measures 12 inches wide by 5.5 deep and it is 7.75 tall with
The caddy is in very good original condition and has a working lock
It stands on its original pressed brass feet.
Front view: the scenes are of oriental figures in gardens with
pavilions, bridges and exotic trees. These were inspired by tales of the
gardens of the Hong merchants which British traders and diplomats were
allowed to visit whilst in Canton. Such scenes found their way into prints
and books as well as diaries and letters of the period.
The inside is lined in sycamore. It contains two mahogany canisters
which are decorated with further scenes and which retain some of the original
lead lining. The central compartment is painted to match the colour of
the rest of the caddy. There is a small crack on the side of the holding
circle. To avoid any risk of it breaking we have reinforced it with a small
piece of wood from underneath. (Not visible)
The inside of the lid is lined in the original velvet.
The bowl well is lined in original green paper.
The back view with more exotic scenes with the particular perspective
which gives the inimitable flavour of the period.
The pyramided top with five smaller scenes.
The back panel of the top has suffered a crack all along which was
professionally consolidated at sometime in its long life. It does not affect
the picture or the beauty of the box.
Side view showing two figures conversing under an exotic tree
The other side showing a figure walking towards a pavilion.
Detail of one of the four original feet in characteristic Regency
Detail of the canister with another scene of the English interpretation
of oriental life.
Detail of the other canister.
The facings on the inside are in light colour on the top and dark on
the bottom. This gives the caddy two thin elegant lines when closed and
adds interest when open.
Close up of delicious detail of front.
More details. Note the rock? figure on the left holding up a fantastical
Man talking to flower! What has he been drinking?
Detail of top. Everywhere there are superb vignettes encapsulating
the cross cultural influences of the time.
The bowl like the caddy is superb.
This bowl is the original heavy hand blown and cut crystal. The
pattern on the lower part reflects the leaf pattern on the surround of
the caddy. (see photograph above).