Tea chest

Object Number: 
Wood, lacquer, mother-of-pearl, pewter, brass, textile
Chest (1956.143a): 15 1/2 x 20 x 14 1/4 in. (39.4 x 50.8 x 36.2 cm)
written: in black ink on paper label affixed to front of container: Japanese calligraphy painted: in black under lid of container: "27"
Wooden tea chest covered with black lacquer inlaid with pieces of mother-of-pearl (lac burgauté); rectangular form with flat chamfers, flat, hinged lid, brass rosette mounts with bail handle at each side, and abstract batwing brass escutcheon; mother-of-pearl with green and purple sheen, forming scenes on top and front consisting of figures in landscape, with water and cliffs indicated in background, other sides covered with clusters of flowers and leaves; single branch with fruit on inside of lid, also attached with textile hinges; inside, pewter container, conforming to shape of chest, with engraved and chased abstract pattern of flowers and leaves; pewter lid and tray fitted into mouth of container, center of lid engraved and chased with scene depicting two figures among profusion of floral pattern; remains of tea inside container; key tied to handle.
Gallery Label: 
According to the original receipt, Miss Mary Verplanck purchased this tea chest, containing black tea, from James E. Member, Grocer, of Fishkill Landing on September 5, 1856.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Bayard Verplanck
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group