Tunbridge Ware Tea Caddy
British and the very word ‘Tea’ are related in the same manner as ‘Strawberries and Cream’ , ‘Bread and Butter’ or ‘Bacon and
Eggs’. In short
for generations we have been in love with this onetime exotic and expensive
Throughout the 18th and early 19th century tea had been stored under lock and key in equally small yet expensive tea caddies fashioned in wood, silver, ivory and tortoiseshell.
In the Regency period both rosewood and satinwood proved popular choices and by the time Queen Victoria ascended the throne rosewood and walnut tea caddies and those in Tunbridge Ware, made by makers such as Henry Hollamby ,soon became firm favourites with the growing middle classes.
Tea was to remain an expensive commodity for much of the Victorian age with the keys to the tea caddy restricted to either the lady of the house, the housekeeper or ,in the more well to do circles, the butler.
the later years of Queen Victoria’s
reign the importation of black teas from India saw a massive decrease in prices
allowing the working classes access to a beverage championed by those who took
the pledge to remain ‘Tea Total’ and a replacement for "small beer". The British love of tea continues to
this day although this has been reduced by cheap coffee. Only the Irish and the Turks drink more tea per capita.