I have Tea on the brain because our JASNA-Vermont group is planning a Regency-style Afternoon Tea at The Governor’s House in Hyde Park on July 24th, 2013 [$25. / person, reservations required]
And so, Tea being on my radar [where it always is really…], I find there are a number of tea caddies up for auction at Sworders, Fine Art Auctioneers.
These are particularly lovely: [Lot 69]
A pair of George III oval papier mâché tea caddies
Birmingham, c.1780, by Henry Clay, the first with a hinged lid decorated with bands of berried leaves and anthemia centred by a hallmarked silver loop handle stamped with the initials ‘HC’, the body with transfer decorated scenes of Demeter in the House of Kelos together with other classical figures, instruments and a painted chevron band, the second similarly decorated, but with palmette borders, 11cm high Provenance: By repute the Earls of Jersey, Osterley Park Middlesex, sold 1949. Literature: For a similar single caddy, ‘The Robert Harman Collection’, Sotheby’s, 12 November 1999, lot 6. The silver loop handle carries the hallmark of Henry Clay, ‘Japanner in Ordinary to His Majesty and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’. Clay specialised in Etruscan-style decoration of this kind. A visitor to his workshop in Covent Garden in 1775 reported that he made boxes, tea caddies, panels for coaches and sedan chairs, coffee trays and ‘…all kinds of other vessels, black with orange figures in the style of Etruscan vases’ (‘George Christoph Lichtenberg’s Visits to England as described in his Letters and Diaries’, translated and annotated by M L Mare and W H Quarrell, Oxford, 1938).
Estimate: £5000 – £8000
Or this: [Lot 60]
A George III tea caddy
of rectangular form with canted corners, the lid in harewood (?) with an inlaid oval patera within strung borders, the front panel in mahogany similarly decorated, the canted corners inlaid with plain shaded columns on a stained ground, 11.5cm high.
Estimate: £500 – £800
[Image and text from Sworders – Fine Art Auctioneers – Summer House Country Sale, 16 July 2013]
And on the subject of Tea, here are some offers from Twinings: [with thanks to Tony Grant for sending the link!]