Tea chest

DATE: ca. 1780 (made)
PLACE: England (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Painted wood, internal glass bowl

This tea chest is decorated inside and on the exterior with paintings based on works by the English landscape painter George Morland. Pastoral scenes and landscapes were fashionable subjects for the decoration of tea chests during the 18th century and tea caddies were often painted by accomplished ladies at home. The scene on the front of the caddy is taken from George Morland’s 1789 painting, ‘A Party Angling’ which is now in the Yale Center for British Art (accession number; B2001.2.22). The two internal canisters are decorated with the scenes ‘Delia in Town’ and ‘Delia in the Country’, copies and engravings of which can be found in various collections such as the British Museum (1872,0511.231 and 1878,0511.914). Other scenes on this chest include ‘The Anglers Repast’ and ‘Figures in a Tavern’ believed to be the The Red Lion, Paddington. The two internal canisters would have been used to store different types of tea, while the central glass bowl would have been used to store sugar.