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An exceptionally fine George I Tea Caddy made in London in 1724 by Edward Gibbon.


This very fine piece is upright rectangular in form, with cut corners, and stands on a spreading foot. The stepped upper section of the main body displays a circular reeded domed pull off cover, which terminates in a ball finial and which would have been used as a measure for the tea. The Tea Caddy has a sliding removable shoulder section, which would have been taken off when filling and cleaning out the caddy. This piece is fully marked on the main body, with the makers mark twice on the base and with the makers mark and leopards head crowned on the shoulder. The front of the main body is engraved with a contemporary Armorial surrounded by a beautiful cartouche of scale work, scrolls, raying shells and strap work. The base is engraved with a set of contemporary initials. The Arms as those as used by the Martin family. The Tea Caddy is of a very good weight and colour and is in excellent condition.

The first form of Tea Caddy, or Canister, as they were referred to at the end of the seventeenth century, was emulated from the early Chinese porcelain examples - rectangular or octagonal in shape, with a pull off cap, which would double up as a measure for the tea inside. Such an example is illustrated, along with other components of the Tea Equipage, in a painting pf a Family Taking Tea, School of Richard Collins, circa 1730, now in the Collection of Goldsmiths Hall.

Very few Tea Caddies were made prior to the begining of the eighteenth century, therefore this represents a fine early example. Edward Gibbon was a specialist Caddy maker who was apprenticed to both Joseph Ash and John Farnell, both Caddy makers. He had workshops in Lad Lane when this piece was made.

Height: 4.6 inches, 11.5cm.

Length of base: 3.25 inches, 8.13cm.

Width of base: 2.25 inches, 5.63cm.

Weight: 8oz.