Dating antique boxes
In tea began to be imported from India too. The late 18th century caddies were made of pine, oak or mahogany and veneered in different woods.
These are single wooden caddies made by turners in the shape of different fruits, mostly but not exclusively, apples and pears. A polychromed tea chest painted in a fluid hand with an exotic scene.
Early glue was made from animal products including hide, bones and fish melted in a glue kettle and mixed with water. Other brass hardware can be an indicator of age as well.
Although still seriously expensive, more households were drinking tea and wanted caddies to keep their precious leaves fresh and safe. The controlled use of precious materials in simple shapes enhanced its natural beauty.
Most of these are in the manner of Angelica Kauffmann with floral swags and putti. Importantly this glue is revesible and therefore antique useless dating advice to avoid, as opposed to modern PVC glue which is neither. The inside of the lid is lined with velvet and occasionally there is a space for caddy spoons on the lid or the back of the caddy.
A more successful style import was the combination of brass and mother of pearl inlay.
The late 18th century caddies are singledouble or triple. There is an example of a later Tunbridge Ware caddy later in this article.
Click on thumbnail for more photos. Most handmade pieces will show some irregularities to the surface such as minor nicks indicative of a hand plane being used to smooth out the wood, and this is sometimes even more evident on the back than on the finished front surfaces.
They are still relatively easy to find and make pretty additions to the home. Stringing and cross banding were also effective elegant decorative devices.
The top inlaid with a marquetry oval. In Henry Fielding's "Joseph Andrews" the eponymous Joseph is carried badly injured to an Inn where he asks the landlady for "a little tea".
Chinese export lacquer from this period also seems to come in two qualities. This is not always the case, especially in double caddies.
Very Fine Rare Early 19th C. The veneers were much thicker than what we think of now as veneers.
Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America
This is both a very early example of straw work and a very early tea caddy. That is they have one, two or dating antique boxes separate compartments.
Click on thumbnail to see further details. This gave rise to the all wooden caddy with a wooden interior.
The earliest ones, like the one illustrated here, do not include mosaic inlays, although these do appear in the s mostly as borders. A very fine Burr Chestnut three compartment Regency tea caddy. A fine Regency Two compartment Penwork Tea caddy decorated all over dating antique boxes exotic penwork scenes on a sycamore ground. Metal mounts escutcheons, handles, feet, and other decoration were of silver or gilded brass.
Sadeli mosaic in simple shapes and exquisite patterns. Always look for worn components in the right places, take your time to check the piece carefully and look for signs of use on the base of the feet, drawer runners, chair rail stretchers and any area of potential wear. Most of these have simple lift up lids with turned knobs.
Tunbridge Ware caddies flourished in the middle of the century until the s. Is the letter T or TP part of the Factory number? They were mostly made of mahogany although a few early ones were of walnut.
Chest type boxes were also used for housing silver caddies.