George III Silver Tea Caddy
Maker: Peter & William Bateman
A fine antique sterling silver tea caddy box of plain circular form having a central divider and lock. An attractive...Buy NowEnquire
A fine antique sterling silver tea caddy box of plain circular form having a central divider and lock. An attractive feature is the decorative finial in the form of a Chinese gentleman holding a fish. The decoration is particularly fine, with gadroon edge borders and concentric bands of hand engraved leaf motifs, greek key design and basket weave.
Weight 698 grams, 22.4 troy ounces.
Height 16.5 cm. Diameter 16 cm.
Maker Peter & William Bateman.
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.
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.
Some of the earliest silver examples have sliding bases (or tops) and the cap was used for measuring the tea. By the mid eighteenth 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. During the late 1700’s the locking silver tea caddy was introduced with its own key which the lady of the house kept on the chatelaine around her waist. Double locking tea caddies in silver are rare.
This elegant silver box is in very good condition. Excellent colour. The engraving is still crisp. With a full set of clear and matching English silver hallmarks. The lock has not been tested (no key). There is a small shallow dent within the basket weave decoration.
Maker: Peter & William Bateman
Peter, Anne and William Bateman were the son, daughter-in-law (widow of Jonathan) and grandson of Hester Bateman, probably the most well known of all English lady silversmiths whose work is highly collectible. Hester married the goldsmith John Bateman in 1732, and together they worked a small silversmith business. Following the death of her husband in 1760 she successfully ran her family business for thirty years and was succeeded in turn by her sons, grandson and great-grandson and the Bateman family silversmithing company lasted until the middle of the nineteenth century. Hester had at least five children - Jonathan, Peter, probably John (who may have been connected with the business, although he is only recorded as a watch and clock-maker), Letitia (who married Richard Clarke), and Ann. Only Peter, Letitia, and Ann were still living at the time of Hester's death. Hester registered her mark at Goldsmith's Hall ‘April 16, 1761, as Hester Bateman in Bunnhill Row and this mark was used until 1790. Hester died in 1794. 1790 registered mark of her sons PETER BATEMAN and JOHN BATEMAN. This partnership was of short duration as Jonathan, who married Ann Downlinff, died in 1791. 1791 registered mark PETER and ANN BATEMAN, Jonathan's widow. 1800 registered mark PETER BATEMAN, ANN BATEMAN and WILLIAM (I) BATEMAN. William Bateman was the son of Jonathan and Ann Bateman who in 1800 entered in partnership with his uncle Peter and his mother Ann. 1805, after the retirement of Ann, registered mark PETER BATEMAN and WILLIAM (I) BATEMAN. From 1815 to 1840 WILLIAM (I) BATEMAN was registered alone. From 1839 to 1843 WILLIAM (II) BATEMAN (son of William I) & DANIELL BALL.
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