Most of us here in Blogland are crazy for tea and all “tea equipage”. Today I’m sharing my favorite, the tea caddy.
A “caddy” includes the entire genre of tea containers produced in a variety of styles and materials from wood and brass to porcelain and glass.
When tea was first imported to England two centuries ago it was taken only in small quantities for medicinal purposes.
The high cost of tea assured its status as a luxury item and necessitated a secure container for its storage and display.
Early ones date from the Queen Anne period and were generally in a sarcophagus shape with two compartments, one for black and another for green tea.
Some larger ones even contain a mixing bowl. The compartments were lined in lead foil to keep the tea moist.
Probably the most unusual are the fruit shaped caddies: apple, pear, and even Chinese melon.
Typically carved from the fruit woods that correspond to the fruit they depict, they display well from kitchen to library and in between.
The more exotic materials, like tortoiseshell, were used in the latter part of the 18th century, forward.
These are smaller in scale and multisided single caddies. The simple keyhole escutcheon is often in a contrasting ivory design.
These fancy boxes are kept in a case. Most days my tea comes in a tea bag! Lol, but I do get to store it in this pretty (sturdy) brass caddy.
But on the days that are slow, I dip into my pretty blue willow caddy for my favorite loose leaf blend. Ahhh… perfect when I’m feeling caddy.
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