A very rare & important George III Tea Caddy modelled as a Tea Chest and made in London in 1775 by John Carter II.
The Tea Caddy, which is cube shaped in form, is modelled to simulate the chests in which tea was imported into England from China and is one of the rarest designs of English Tea Caddy to be found. The sides are engraved with vertical lines to simulate the planks of the chest and the outer border is decorated with Greek key designs. Three of the sides are also engraved with Chinese characters and the front with a contemporary family Crest, surrounded by a bead oval cartouche. The hinged cover displays a cast floral and foliate finial, modelled to simulate a sprig from a tea plant. The caddy possesses its original lock, as the contents were so valuable at this date. 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 maker's mark and sterling mark on the cover. It is interesting to note that four different specialists were involved in the construction of one square Tea Cddy and the whole process would take up to three weeks to complete.John Carter II was a very fine silversmith who was patronised by the King and members of the Royal family, including the Prince of Wales, ( later George IV) when he was furnishing his Carlton House residence on the Mall.Height: 3.65 inches, 9.13cm.Length: 3.65 inches, 9.13cm.Depth: 3.65 inches, 9.13cm.Weight: 17oz.