In the late 18th and early 19th century, Tea caddies were popular for storing tea. Tea was extremely expensive and therefore sparingly used. It was keep under lock and key in many wonderful containers. The larger varieties were known as tea chests. As tea grew cheaper there was less concern with the appearance of caddies, and as a result they fell out of use. Today we cherish the wonderfully made containers as decorative boxes.
Exceptional Tortoise and Mother of Pearl Tea Caddy England C1810 Exceptional Tortoise and Mother of Pearl Tea Caddy, C1810, of rectangular form with skirted base; the hinged lid with Mother of Pearl and ivory inlay, the front also decorated with mother of pearl with two covered compartments and silver escutcheon, supported by bun feet, with working key and lock.