Early Victorian Rosewood Double Compartment Tea Caddy c1845

Heading : Early Victorian Rosewood Double Compartment Tea Caddy 
Date : c1845
Period : Victoria
Origin : English; likely Brighton 

Decoration :Rectangular box with hinged lid; corners rounded and veneered in contrasting material to body; circular mother of pearl escutcheon to keyhole (with working key); turned wood handles to sides; sits on four bun feet; internally - two hinged, removable compartments with lead lining foil; central well with glass mixing bowl (likely not original); all finished with plain, un-patterned veneers; the base of one compartment is labelled - see notes below

Size :  30.0 x 15.0 x 15.3 cm
Condition : Very Good; a few cosmetic bumps and bruises to the outer faces; a narrow, raggecd 36mm shallow gouge to the front; good order internally with loss to the lining foil as to be expected; there is a grain crack right across the width of the base but this does not greatly impact the integrity of the piece
Restoration : None
Weight : 1914 grams

Notes : The label on the base of one caddy compartment is something of a Rosetta stone for boxes of this nature; it bears the name of Childs & Son, of 51 Kings Road, Brighton; we have seen several boxes - clearly not 'regular' Tunbridge Ware but having recognisable features - all of which have common elements which indicate that they all came from the same source. This applies specifically to the construction of the internal caddy boxes, all of which have identical hinges and are made to an identical pattern. The Childs family store operated as a retail outlet for toys and treen from the 1830's, and by the following decade William Junior - the son - was producing 'desks and dressing cases'. The saleability of Tunbridge Ware had long been proven, and the attraction of producing your own material was obvious - not having to pay another manufacturer for his goods and simply making a 'mark up' on onward sales. We have surmised - after discussion with the experts at The Amelia museum in Tunbridge Wells, who are in agreeance - that the Childs family may very well have been producing their own variations on the Tunbridge Ware theme down in their sea-front premises rather than just operating a shop, and that this was the source for the half a dozen or so common boxes we have come across on our endeavours.


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  • Product Code: PJG0108
  • Availability: 1
  • £250.00

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