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Tea caddy

Object Number: 
1950.343ab
Date: 
ca. 1790
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
Overall: 4 1/2 x 6 3/8 x 4 3/4 in. ( 11.4 x 16.2 x 12.1 cm ) Silver Weight: 19 oz (troy) 9 dwt (605 g)
Marks: 
stamped: on base: "D. V. VOORHIS" roman capitals in a rectangle on each side of an American eagle in a square
Description: 
Oval body with straight sides, seamed down the left side; beaded bands applied around the base and rim; flat, hinged lid with a hinged, bail handle finial applied in the center; octagon engraved around the finial; engraved decorative band around the edge of the lid; bright-cut and engraved decorative bands around the base and below the rim; two circular reserves engraved on each side of the body; front reserve engraved with a swaged shield; chamfered rectangles engraved on the sides with emblems of Cupid and the chase, hanging, crossed horn and bow and arrow over a floral motif; floral swags engraved between the rectangles and the reserves; escutcheon above the front reserve; maker's marks on the base. Silver plated key with a hollow cylinder and loop finial.
Gallery Label: 
Loose, dried tea leaves were frequently stored in luxurious boxes or caddies displayed on tea tables sometimes equipped with locks that protected against theft by servants and prohibited access even within a household. The sophisticated engraved ornament of this caddy recalls the Neoclassical inlaid motifs that decorated late eighteenth-century furniture, tea trays, and knife cases.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr.; Collection of Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr.
Provenance: 
Original owner unknown; to Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr. (1899-1949); to his mother, Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr. (1874-1959), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group