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A very rare & important early George III Chinese Tea Tub Tea Caddy made in London in 1767 by Parker & Wakelin.


The Tea Caddy, which is of an unusual shallow oval form is modelled to simulate the tea tub containers in which tea was imported into England from China and is one of the rarest designs of English Tea Caddy to be found. These are usually modelled in the cube form, however the shallow oval design was produced for a short period during the late 1760's and early 1770's. The sides are engraved with a horizontal upper and lower band of foliate pluming scrolls on a scratch engraved ground. This design also separates the main body into four panels each engraved with vertical lines to simulate the planks of the chest. Three of the panels are also engraved with Chinese characters, as seen on the original tea chests and the front with a contemporary Crest, surrounded by a crossed laurel branch cartouche. The cover is also engraved with the same designs as seen on the sides and terminates in an outstanding cast floral and foliate finial modelled to simulate a sprig from a tea plant. The hinge on the cover is also beautifully concealed, emphasising the quality of design and production. The caddy also possesses its original lock, as the contents were so very valuable in 1767. These tea chests were featured on the trade cards of Eighteenth Century grocers, such as Chandler and Newsom, tea dealers and grocers.

The Caddy is in excellent condition and is fully marked on the base and with the sterling mark and maker's mark on the cover. It is interesting to note that four different specialists were involved in the construction of one tea caddy and the whole process would take up to three weeks to complete. This design of Tea Caddy seldom appears on the market and this is the only one of this shallow form that we have ever offered. Parker & Wakelin were an important firm of silversmiths during this period and supplied King George III, and many Noble households, with silver.

Height, to the tip of the finial: 4 inches, 10cm.
Length: 4.9 inches, 12.25cm.
Width: 4 inches, 10cm.
Weight: A very good 16oz.