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An extremely fine and rare George III Tea Caddy made in London in 1785 by Daniel Smith & Robert Sharp.


The Tea Caddy is oval in form with a beaded band at both the base and the rim. The sides are decorated in a most unusual Neo-Classical manner, with an upper and lower band of wave motifs, with flower heads, all on a scratch engraved ground. This is in addition to an unusual engraved reed and tie band. The front of the Caddy is engraved with a contemporary Armorial with the Motto Nunquam Non Paratus - Never Unprepared below, all surrounded by an oval bead cartouche, with crossed branches below. The reverse is engraved with the same cartouche, which contains a contemporary Crest. The sides display most unusual Classical oval bead panels containing heart motifs, burning torches and a quiver containing arrows. The slightly domed cover terminates in a silver pineapple finial and is engraved with an outer bright cut border, including ovals containing flower heads. The Tea Caddy is in most excellent condition and is fully marked on the base and with the sterling mark on the cover.

The Arms, Crest and Motto are those of Johnston of Knappage and Glenaule, County Armargh. They impale those of the Monck family, an ancient family seated at Potteridge, County Devon. Amongst their descendants was the Duke of Abermarle, who helped mastermind the Restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660.

This is an exceptionally rare Caddy, decorated in the Neo Classical manner, with very unusual side ovals. Daniel Smith & Robert Sharp were very fine silversmiths who were patronised by both King George III and the Prince of Wales when he was furnishing his Carlton House residence on the Mall. Smith & Sharp had workshops at 14, Bartholomew Close when this caddy was made. The Caddy is also marked with the rare incuse Duty Mark, which is only seen in 1784 and 1785, where the Kings Head appears in a cut cornered punch.

Length: 5.5 inches, 13.75cm.

Width: 3.5 inches, 8.75cm.

Height: 5.6 inches, 14cm.

Weight: 14oz.