Containers for keeping dry tea leaves, now called tea caddies, were a fashionable accessory during the eighteenth century. Tea was also very expensive at that time and was heavily taxed, so the antique silver tea caddies we see today reflected the value of the contents.
Caddy is taken from The Malay word cati, which was a weight by which tea was first purchased. As tea became a cheaper commodity, the use of silver tea caddies declined through the nineteenth century, until more were created again by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Smaller caddies fashioned on earlier designs became popular again and are highly collectible today
by John Parker and Edward Wakelin, London 1770.
by Robert Hennell 1 & Samuel Hennell, London 1803.
by George Nathan & Ridley Hayes, Chester 1897.