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Tea Caddy (Tea Canisters)

Porcelain tea caddy of rounded shape

Chinese export porcelain tea caddy from ca 1740. Decorated in 18th century wucai. Enamel part of the decoration lost
Photo courtesy of Tommy Eklöf, 2012

Airtight containers for storing tea. Used in China to store tea sent up to the Emperor as Tribute from provinces known for its tea. In use in China from the Song dynasty. Became most fashionable in Europe with the introduction of the new fashion for hot drinks, including tea, following the visit to Paris of the Ambassador of Siam in the early 18th century. Small and decoratice Tea Caddy's are usually found in porcelain from the 18th century onwards. Larger examples for export and shipping often in pewter, sometimes fitted with wooden boxes to contain several.

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