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Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
Tea Caddies and Tea
Tea Caddies and Tea



A George II Shagreen covered Tea Chest with Silver Mounts.

A George II shagreen tea chest of triple bow fronted form with silver mounts.

The silver appears to be unmarked but is very similar to those on another chest which bear the marks J W

34cm wide

The chest was part of the collection of  J. S. Sykes of  Grovenor Square. 

Sykes  was  part of a close circle of British and American collectors of Georgian furniture which included  Eric Moller (collection sold Sotheby's, November 18th, 1993), Samuel Messer (collection sold Christies December 5th, 1991), Percival Griffiths, Geoffrey Blackwell, Jim Joel and Lord Plender.

The collections were of particular interest as they  were formed under the tutelage of the collector and revered furniture historian Robert Wemyss Symonds (d.1958), whose  collection of books and photographs now forms part of the H.F. Du Point Winterthus Museum.

The members of the circle met regularly at Syke's flat to get advice on upcoming purchases and exchange information on their latest finds. 

Symonds published a number of books on early English furniture and clocks, notably Furniture Making In Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England, publ. The Connoisseur, 1995, which is mainly based around Symonds, Sykes and Moller's collections. 

Many pieces from J.S. Sykes' collection are illustrated in R. W. Symonds, Masterpieces of English Furniture and Clocks, 1940.

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Detail: Cartouche shaped scroll pierced escutcheon.

 Detail: silver carrying handle.

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Detail: scroll pierced claw and ball feet,

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Inside the chest is lined to hold three silver lift out canisters. The lining on the top is original but the lining on the lower part is a later replacement.

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For the historical context of this caddy read the relevant part of Antigone's Online Antique Box Book. If you click here you will go there.
We have written a highly illustrated book on Antique Boxes and Tea caddies which is being published by Schiffer Books USA. This tea caddy has been specially photographed for inclusion. 

  © 2002/2003 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly