Tea chest, internal canisters and mixing bowl

DATE: 1811-1820 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Carved mahogany with brass inlay and mounts, internal cut-glass mixing bowl

The design of this tea chest is based on the form of a sarcophagus, a shape made fashionable during the Regency period due to the discovery of archaeological antiquities from ancient Greece and Rome. Inside the chest are two wooden canisters for storing tea leaves and a central glass bowl, used to blend two different types of tea or to hold sugar. The technique of inlaying furniture and small domestic objects with pewter or brass was perfected in the early 18th century by the renowned French cabinet-maker André-Charles Boulle, with his creations imitated throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.