This caddy was made by John Emes, a silversmith who spent his first years in association with the renowned silversmith Henry Chawner. Emes specialised in the production of good quality tea and coffee wares for which there was a growing market amongst the middle classes. The word ‘caddy’ is derived from the Malay word kati, which was a unit of measurement for weighing tea. The kati was equivalent to about 600 grams, the usual amount in a standard 18th century packet of tea, although not all caddies were large enough to hold this amount. Caddies like this example would have been placed in the drawing room of a wealthy home and its key kept by the lady of the house to protect the valuable tea leaves inside.