Antique Silver Caddy Spoon
Antique Silver Caddy Spoon

Item Sold

Antique Silver George III Caddy Spoon made in 1798


An attractive antique silver George III caddy spoon with a plain leaf-shaped bowl and bright-cut engraving on the handle.

Date 1798
Made By Thomas Wallis I
Location London
Stock Number FA207x15

Out of stock

Maker: Thomas Wallis I

An attractive antique silver George III caddy spoon with a plain leaf-shaped bowl and bright-cut engraving on the handle.

Dimensions: length 10.1 cm

Tea, when it first arrived in any quantities in Georgian England, was a luxury commodity commanding very high prices. It was grown on plantations in China, India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), transported across the oceans and sold in small quantities by specialist importers. Its trade was a monopoly of the East India Company and high taxes – 119% until 1784 – made it even more prohibitively expensive. In households that could afford it, tea was kept in a locked caddy, along with almost equally precious sugar, and the lady of the house kept the key.

The caddy spoon, a practical tool for measuring the tea into the teapot, became, by the late 18th century, an equally expensive and covetable item, usually made from silver or Old Sheffield Plate.

As gifts, caddy spoons were ideal as they could be of any pattern and did not have to match the silver cutlery on the table.

Thomas Wallis I

The registers of St Olave Silver Street show that a Thomas Wallis and his wife Mary baptised a daughter, Katherine, on 2 August 1767, so he was almost certainly in that parish in 1767 (Grimwade p. 692, 770).

Shown in the 1768/69 Land Tax Assessment for Monkwell Street as Thomas Wallace – 2 Houses, at No 37. He replaced Ann Bickerton, who is shown in the 1767/68 assessment as Widow Bickerton. The 1769/70 assessment and onwards is as Thomas Wallis — 2 Houses. It is not unusual for the names in LTAs to be one or two years behind reality.

George Wallis, a descendant, (in his chapter on Jewellery in G. Phillips Bevan, British Manufacturing Industry, second edition, 1878) provides some information on the Wallis’s, albeit a somewhat uncertain account. He appears to state that Thomas Wallis I was a silver buckle-maker himself and that John Warralow worked for him (perhaps as an apprentice?) in around 1770. Warralow was supposedly steel buckle maker to George III, and according to this account Wallis I also worked for the court. He also indicates that Thomas Wallis II was the nephew of Thomas Wallis I.

Grimwade considers that it was Thomas Wallis II who entered a mark as plate worker in 1778 at Monkwell Street, moving to Red Lion Street in 1780. However, a Thomas Wallis was still in residence at Monkwell Street in 1785. An Old Bailey Trial of 6 April 1785 (ref t17850406-69) shows a Thomas Wallis stating: “I live in Monkwell-street, on the 27th of February, my house was broke open.” He is also shown in the Poor Rate book for 1785. The Poor Rate books were normally more up to date than the LTA’s. It thus seems that, either the 1780 plateworker mark was actually for Wallis I, or the two Wallis’ shared premises for a year or so. As Wallis II was not free until 1779 according to Grimwade the former seems more likely.

Thomas Wallis I probably died in 1819 as the will of “Thomas Wallis, formerly Silversmith now Waltham Abbey Essex”, was proved at PCC on 1st April 1818 (PROB 11/1015).

Delivery Details

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All items are checked and photographed prior to packaging, and we aim to dispatch 1-3 days after receiving cleared payment.

Delivery Charges:
For the UK £15.00
For Europe £30.00
For the rest of World £50.00
The charges are subject to change

About William Walter Antiques

At the heart of William Walter Antiques is our dedication to providing our customers with beautiful silver of supreme quality, which celebrates all that is precious about sterling silver. Customer service also being paramount, our long-standing, devoted staff team go above and beyond the call of duty for all our clients. We believe it is this combination of passion and commitment that has kept our customers with us for many years.

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