Master Tea Caddy, ca. 1825

Value (2006) | $2,500 Retail

GUEST:
We were living in England, and my husband's company was based in Edinburgh, part of it. We were there on an annual meeting. And we actually were leaving and coming back to Honolulu. So the office staff knew that I was a lover of antiques. And as my farewell present, I was allowed to go shopping, on my own, and to buy something that I really wanted, that was unique to Scotland. I don't know if this is Scottish. But I found this in an antique store that afternoon. And has a lot of memories, and I think it's unique. I really... enjoyed buying it and remembering those times.

APPRAISER:
And do you know what it is?

GUEST:
It's a tea caddy. An English tea caddy.

APPRAISER:
I would call it a master tea caddy--

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
--because of its size. Most tea caddies are about this big. And this is very large. And the shape of it, it's called

a coffin tea caddy.

GUEST:
Coffin, yeah.

APPRAISER:
And it's made out of rosewood.

GUEST:
Ah.

APPRAISER:
And it has mother-of-pearl inlay. But what really fascinated me about this is that within the mother-of-pearl are all these little figures. So there's little squirrels. Up here on the top are a pair of beautiful swans. And then this is brass inlay, going around... and mother-of-pearl dots. I think that this was probably made in Scotland, because right here, there's a little thistle. And this helps tell us the date. It's 1820 to 1830. And also the shape helps tell us that. The coffin shape. Now I'm going to open it up. And inside, it's beautiful, except it is missing--

GUEST:
The glass.

APPRAISER:
--the mixing bowl.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And that does affect value a slight bit. And then this is where the tea was kept. And it still has vestiges of its metal lining inside, which is kind of nice. And then it has rosewood and mahogany. And then a very neat thing is, is that you put these in and they just slide down by themselves. And you can see the outline of where the glass bowl was. Have you seen one that has the original bowl?

GUEST:
Um, very seldom.

APPRAISER:
You haven't? It's so frequent that you see them without the bowl, you know, 'cause it's breakable.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And the tea caddies themselves are pretty darn sturdy, being wood. What did you pay for it? Do you know?

GUEST:
I think £50.

APPRAISER:
How long ago?

GUEST:
2 years.

APPRAISER:
Well, in today's market, retail value would probably be around... $2,500.

APPRAISER:
I'm staggered.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Longmont, CO
Appraised value (2006)
$2,500 Retail
Event
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)
Period
19th Century
Form
Tea Caddy
Material
Brass, Inlay, Wood

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