George III Silver Caddies in a Box


Stock: 9826

Date: 1766

Maker: Edward Aldridge

Country: England

An exceptional set of antique silver tea caddies and covered sugar bowl in a black shagreen box with silver mounts....

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An exceptional set of antique silver tea caddies and covered sugar bowl in a black shagreen box with silver mounts. Excellent quality and classic styling. The bombe form tea boxes have lift off lids with gadroon borders; the decorative cast bases have applied acanthus mounts above to all sides. The two square shaped caddies are for green and black tea; the rectangular caddy is for sugar. The shagreen box has a red velvet interior; the exterior has beautifully ornamented silver mounts, the handle is hand engraved with a crest.

Total weight of 3 boxes 858 grams, 27.5 troy ounces.

Square caddy height 15cm base 8.5 x 7.5cm.
Rectangular caddy height 16.5cm, base 9.5 x 8.5cm.

London 1766.

Maker Edward Aldridge.

The box silver maker is “IW”.

Sterling silver.

Literature. Tea in the early 18th Century was expensive, and also there was a tax on tea, so early tea caddies were small and made in precious materials such as silver, shagreen or tortoiseshell which reflected the valuable contents within. A Tea Caddy is a box, jar, canister, or other receptacle used to store tea. The word is believed to be derived from “catty”, the Chinese pound, equal to about a pound and a third avoirdupois. The earliest examples that came to Europe were Chinese tea canisters in blue and white porcelain with china lids or stoppers. Some of the earliest silver examples have sliding bases (or tops) and the cap was used for measuring the tea. By the mid 18th century matching sets were available, with two caddies (for green and black tea) and a sugar bowl, all fitted into a wooden or shagreen case, often with silver mounts.


The 3 silver caddies are in very good condition. All stamped with a full matching set of English hallmarks. The shagreen box is in good condition with slight signs of wear, no key available.

Maker Information

Maker: Edward Aldridge

Edward Aldridge I, no mention of apprenticeship or freedom. 1st mark as smallworker 1724. 2nd mark as largeworker, then described as Clothworker, 1739. 3rd mark in partnership with John Stamper 1753. Died circa 1766-67, possibly continued by his widow. Edward Aldridge II, apprenticed to Starling Wilford 1751, turned over to Edward Aldridge Clothworker (probably his uncle) on the same day, free 1758 Livery 1763. Both Edward and his uncle are recorded in partnership in 1762. Circa 1773 Edward was in partnership with John Henry Vere. Died between 1802 -1811.

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