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Tea caddy

Object Number: 
1983.9ab
Date: 
1884-1885
Medium: 
Silver, enamel, gold
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. ( 8.3 x 12.1 x 8.3 cm )
Marks: 
chased: on the base: "S. W./ to. S. M. F. W./ June 7. 1885" in script stamped: on the base: "TIFFANY & Co/ 8053 M 8527/ STERLING SILVER
Description: 
Wrought and seamed silver tea caddy in the Islamic-style with niello enamel decoration all over the outer body; oval, boat-shaped body with broad and shallow, concave and convex fluting from foot to rim; chased groove around the center of the body; applied, plain footring; concave shoulder raised to a plain, applied rim; hinged, ovoid lid, flat along the hinged end; outer body is enameled in red, orange and yellow with floral, scroll, geometric and Islamic designs; inner lid in the same shape as the outer with a domed, and sunken center, engraved with floral motifs and lightly enameled in red; knob finial in the center; interior gilt and engraved with all over floral designs; base chased, "S. W./ to. S. M. F. W./ June 7. 1885" in script; makers' marks on the base.
Gallery Label: 
This dazzling caddy was given to Sarah Morris Fish (1838-1923) by her husband Sidney Webster (1828-1910) to commemorate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. The gift of this alluring tea caddy, requisite for the tea table, emphasized Webster's importance as a society hostess in New York and Newport. Inventively ornamented inside and out, the caddy is decorated with colorful floral, foliate, and geometric motifs similar to those used to decorate Tiffany and Co.'s enameled Saracenic works.
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Provenance: 
Given to Sarah Morris Fish Webster (1838-1923) by her husband Sidney Webster (1828-1910); descent uncertain; probably bequeathed to Lina Post Webster (1866-1951), who married the couple's only child Hamilton Fish Webster (1861-1939); purchased by the N-YHS from Robert Koch (1918-2003), Stamford, Conn., in 1983.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group