Victorian Twin Compartment Tea Caddy with Parquetry Veneer Inlays Brighton c1860

Heading : VictorianTwin Compartment Tea Caddy with Parquetry Veneer Inlays 
Date : c1860
Period : Victorian
Origin : England - possibly Brighton

Decoration : Inlaid parquetry veneers - isometric cubes to the top lid, and as small hexagonal 'highlights' and six-pointed star designs made from rhombus-shaped tesserae; banded keyline stringing borders around all the inset veneers; inlaid escutcheon and laquered finishers to the facing edges of body and lid; internally, plain veneers to the central section with a circular blue velvet lined well (mixing jar missing); one hinge-lidded tea box to each side, each seated in it's own squared well; continuous stringing to all edges; sides of the body are slightly canted so the caddy is wider at the top than at the base; the edges of the lid have broad concave quarter-circle mouldings.
Size : 30.6 cm wide - 15.8 cm high - 15.5 cm deep
Condition : Excellent; no significant damage or losses (other than the missing bowl); the top part of the lock has been replaced with a plain 'blanking' plate which does not have any teeth to engage with the mechanism, were it to have a key, which is absent; much of the original lead lining has been worn away inside the two boxes; the base is edged with thin strips of wood which have developed small gaps to the external faces of the body, as they are applied as glued and nailed strips rather than true, close-fitting veneers; one of the parquetry tiles on the top face of the lid has taken a bump which his slightly lifted its edges, though the piece is securely mounted. Some rather crude filling and painting to the decorated edges where - presumably - there has been loss of original material
Restoration : none other than partial lock replacement and painting as above
Weight : 1680 grams

Notes : The inlaid veneers are very much like early-period Tunbridge Ware, and demonstrate use of readily identifiable materials which featured in many pieces made in the town (notably the 'spotty' palmeira wood pieces, and those with 'swirling' grain); it is known that veneers made by Tunbridge Wells based craftsmen were sold wholesale to out of town box-makers to augment their own wares, though any woodworker worth his salt (or perhaps sawdust) would have been able to replicated the process. The form of the two caddy boxes is identical to others which we have identified as being likely to have originated from the Childs & Son business in Brighton due to the commonality of construction and the use of distinctive hinges.



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  • Product Code: 22052804
  • Availability: 1
  • £450.00

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