|A Fine Regency Penwork Three Compartment Tea Caddy circa 1815|
|A fine Regency three compartment Penwork Tea caddy decorated all over with exotic penwork scenes on a sycamore ground . Circa 1815.|
|The caddy is in very good original condition. It even has a
working lock and key.
"Penwork" is sometimes referred to as "pen and ink".
It measures 12.5 inches wide by 6 inches deep and it is 7.75 inches tall including feet: 32 cm wide by 15 cm deep and it is 20 cm tall including feet
Front view: The fantastical scenes are of oriental figures in gardens with pavilions, bridges, rivers, boats, birds, serpents and exotic trees.
| These Chinoiserie scenes 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.
Penwork and painted caddies are very rare.
|End views: the caddy retains its original heavy embossed gilt brass
Unusually even the feet are decorated with penwork
|The back of the caddy is decorated with buildings figures and boats all with fluent disregard for the restrictions of perspective.|
|There is a wealth of images: giant insects compete with giant birds!|
|The shaped top is decorated with a perfusion of stylized foliage.|
|The pyramided shape is inspired by the images and knowledge which were currently coming from Egypt|
|The inside is as decorated as the outside. It contains two lift out canisters
which are decorated with further scenes and which retain some of the original
The central compartment is painted to match the colour of the rest of the caddy.
|Even the sides of the canisters are decorated.|
|The inside of the lid has one of the most fantastical compositions: a dragon headed boat, a sail ship and a sedan chair|
|The dragon headed boat.|
|A sedan chair shaped almost organically This method of transport definitely
beats the bus.
For the most part this caddy retains its original varnish; there is a loss in the center of the top probably caused by someone closing the caddy with liquid in the bowl. Note the shading.
|The complexity of the caddy construction can be seen here.
The compartment for the canister is lined with charcoal colored felt,
which has helped to protect the the penwork on the sides of the
The facings are a dark brown colour.
|Detail of the penwork scenes on the lids of the two canisters|
|The caddy stands on ball feet which are also decorated with penwork. These are in very good condition.|
|The bowl like the caddy is superb.
This bowl is the original heavy hand blown and cut crystal.
It is larger than usual. and is decorated with both cutting and engraving.