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Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7254 7074
Antique Boxes in English Society
1760 -1900
Tea Caddies and Tea
Tea Caddies and Tea



An Impressive Inlaid Tunbridge ware Tea Chest Circa 1870.
 A fine and impressive Tunbridgeware tea chest in coromandel ebony inlaid with  micro mosaic.

 The top has a scene of Netley Abbey in fine tesserae.

 The concave sides are inlaid with a particularly wide band of inlay in "Berlin wool work design.

Inside the chest has well figured bird's eye maple inlaid with floral designs. The bird's eye  maple contrasts dramatically with the dark coromandel of the outside.

The chest stands on turned stickware feet.

The chest has a working lock and key.

15 inches wide.

Please click on the images to enlarge


The shape of this chest is particularly dramatic.  The slightly convex top contrasting with the concave sides.

For comparison see:

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society -- 1700--1880, ISBN: 0764316885  Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly, A Schiffer Book for collectors..


Detail of the well composed and executed inlay of the inside of the top.

 Detail of top showing Netley Abbey in fine tesserae of micro mosaic.

The picture of Netley Abbey is flanked on both sides with a geometric motif of floral inspiration. The whole top is framed by a band of Berlin wool work depicting floral patterns.

Detail: The Berlin woolwork band. Technically it was much more difficult to apply the mosaic to a curved surface as here. 

 The  lift out canisters are veneered with birds eye maple and the tops are inlaid with a stylized floral motif and framed with a geometric band. 

The inside of the canisters retain much of their original leading. 
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The bowl has an engraved pattern depicting ferns.  
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The chest stands on turned stickware feet. Notice that the surface has not been refinished and has much of its original copal varnish.

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 has now been published by Schiffer Books USA. This tea chest has been specially photographed for future inclusion. 

  © 2003 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly