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An important pair of early George III Pedlar Tea Caddies made in London in 1769 by Richard Mills.


The Tea Caddies have a Bombe form, stand on four shell feet and display a beautiful openwork base decorated with shells, flower heads and foliate motifs. The front of the main body is decorated with two different pedlars selling their wares from a basket, with a countryside backdrop depicting a detailed tree, landscape and houses. The sides display an unusual Classical urn and obelisk surrounded by crisp floral and foliate sprays. The reverse shows a Classical column, surrounded by a tree and flowers and foliage. This side is also decorated with a Rococo scroll cartouche which is engraved with a contemporary Armorial. The pull-off covers terminate in a Chinaman finial and are also decorated with baskets of flowers and display a gadrooned rim. Each corner of the main body is decorated with a band of feather motifs. This is a most unusual design, which we have not encountered before. The caddies are in excellent condition and are fully marked on the bases and with the Sterling mark on the cover. The Arms are those of the Wasse family of Kikhill, Co York, impaling those of Ashmole, as in Elias Ashmole of The Ashmolean in Oxford. Kirkhill, is a Grade II listed five bay red brick Eighteenth Century house at Hinderwell, Near Staithes, North Yorkshire. Richard Mills was working at Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, when these Caddies were made. The Pedlar decoration is reminiscent of the scenes, painted in London, by William Hogarth, many of which are in the National Gallery in London.

Height: 6 inches, 15cm.

Length: 3.75 inches, 9.38cm.

Width: 2.75 inches, 6.88 cm.

Weight: 24oz the pair.