Tea caddy and key

ARTIST / MAKER: Henry Chawner (maker)
DATE: 1791 (made)
PLACE: London (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt
COLLECTION NUMBER: 30

Henry Chawner was a predecessor of the firm of Edward Barnard & Sons Ltd, one of the most successful silversmithing businesses in 18th century England. This silver-gilt tea caddy mady by Chawner is engraved with scalloped borders upon the neck and base, and the central cartouche bears an engraved esquire’s helmet crest granted to Richard Chomely of Ripple, Worcestershire. The caddy’s hinged lid could be locked to deter pilfering servants from stealing the tea leaves, what was then a costly and valued commodity. The body is divided into three segments and would have likely contained black tea leaves, which became the prefered type of tea by the mid-18th century.