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A very rare & important George III Tea Caddy modelled as a Tea Chest. Made in London in 1768 by Augustin Le Sage.


The Tea Caddy, which is cube shaped in form, is modelled to simulate the chests in which tea was imported from China. As you will see from the photographs, the sides are engraved with vertical lines to simulate the planks of the chest and outer bands of attractive pluming scrolls on a scratch engraved ground. Each of the sides are also engraved with Chinese characters, which were shown on the original wooden chests. The hinged cover displays a cast floral and foliate finial, most probably modelled as a sprig from a tea plant. The Tea Caddy also possesses its original working steel key. These 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 makers mark on the cover. It is interesting to note that four different specialists were involved in the production of one square caddy and the whole process would take up to three weeks to complete. The quality of this piece is outstanding, as would be expected from this silversmith, who specialised in the production of fine tea caddies. He had workshops in Clements Inn Passage, near Clare Market, when this fine piece was made.

Augustin Le Sage was of Huguenot descent and was the son of John Hugh Le Sage, Royal Goldsmith to King George II. The quality of his work is exceptional, as one would expect from his background.

Height: 3.6 inches

Length: 3.6 inches

Depth: 3.6 inches.

Weight: 15oz.