Antique Silver George III Double Tea Caddy made in 1797
This very lovely George III double tea caddy is of oval form. It was made when tea was expensive and it had a lock on each compartment.
|Made By||John Scofield|
This very lovely antique silver George III double tea caddy is of oval form. The caddy has a fluted base with a delightfully engraved border above, which contains a vacant shield cartouche. The fluting is mirrored on the handle.
The caddy has two hinged compartments and the lids are also engraved. It was made when tea was expensive and it had a lock on each compartment.
Dimensions: height 19.5 cm, width 15.5 cm
The word “caddy” was derived from the Malaysian work “kati”, meaning approximately one and one fifth of a pound in weight. The cost of tea during the 17th century was high – 40 shillings per pound in 1664 – but much higher in price when heavily taxed in the 18th century; that is why a lot of the caddies made between 1760 – 1810 are fitted with a lock and key.
John Scofield was a silversmith working in London during the second half of the 18th century. He appears to have been in partnership with his brother, Robert Scofield, as the pair entered marks between 1772 and 1776. He entered a mark in partnership with Robert Jones in 1776 as a plateworker based in Bartholomew Close in the City of London. The partnership was dissolved, and all his subsequent marks are entered for him alone. He is registered as working from Bell Yard, Temple Bar in London from 1778 to 1796.
He worked for the royal goldsmiths and may have received commissions from the Prince Regent – later George IV, for his residence Carlton House in London. He worked in the neoclassical style and was noted for his very fine workmanship (which was on the rise in the latter half of the 18th century as the taste for French-influenced Rococo silverware started to recede).
By 1770, the English preference was for more formal classical decoration with shapes inspired by the ancients such as urns, vases and simple ovoid shapes and straight spouts and this is reflected in his work. His signature style was to use beaded and geometric bands, oval medallions and palmettes (although he was also known to work in a more flowing style).
There was a big demand for presentation and domestic silver, and Scofield made large ‘sideboard’ items, tea-sets and trays. He is particularly noted for his candelabra and cruets. His silver-gilt mounted glass cruet set in a frame from 1789 is now in the V&A in London, and Temple Newsam House in Leeds displays a pair of stately candelabra from 1794 which are in the form of fluted columns sporting an acanthus leaves frieze at the neck and base.
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