The varnish which has clouded over the years should not be removed as it is a very rare survivor of the type of varnish made by the individual cabinet maker and as such a precious record of such work. The caddy is attributable to Joseph Knight, a Tunbridge Ware Maker, of renown.
A caddy with similar distinctive inlay and crossbandings featured in Dr Brian Austenís book on Tunbridge ware bears Joseph Knight's label and claims royal patronage.
The caddy combines neoclassical elements with 18th century romanticism. This is most unusual. The neoclassical forms and inlays were often combined with prints of neoclassical themes, albeit the 18th and early 19th century re-workings of the designs.
The caddy is veneered in harewood and each panel is framed by an array of stringings in light and dark woods and a fine subtle herringbone cross-banding.
This incredibly complex work looks deceptively simple. The front features a symmetrically draped swag of myrtle leaves bracketing a print of two very young people, a boy and a girl. The print is delineated by an inlay of boxwood alternating with thinner darker lines.