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Regency Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy


Regency Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy

Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy, veneered with beautiful figured tortoiseshell panels divided by silver stringing, to the front it has a ornate silver escutcheon and the top a vacant initial plate. The beautifully shaped pagoda top tortoiseshell tea caddy stands on four turned Ivory bun feet.

Opening this fabulous shaped tortoiseshell tea caddy reveals ivory facing and two tortoiseshell lids with turned bone handles above two compartments with traces of their original tin foil lining.

The Tortoiseshell tea caddy comes with a fully working lock & tasselled key.

We are passionate about tea caddies and are the UK's pre-eminent and leading antique box specialists. Tea Caddies are noted for the variety of different shapes and sizes made using exotic woods, tortoiseshell, ivory, horn and shagreen. They make a wonderful decorative and functional heirloom in any modern or traditional home.

All our items come with authentication certificate with image, as well as our latest catalogue, how to look after your antique booklet, care instructions and separate invoice for insurance purposes. On top of this our items come with 14 day no quibble money back guarantee and are all fully insured for when shipping.


In England in the 1700s, tea was an expensive commodity. To keep it safe, people would store it in a lockable Tea Chest or Tea Box, which eventually became known as a Tea Caddy (the word caddy is derived from the Malay "kati", a unit of weight by which tea was sold). As tea was too expensive to risk leaving in the presence of servants, the caddy would be kept in the drawing room. Subsequently, the Tea Caddy became an important & fashionable accessory for the home.

Tea Caddies were made in a huge variety of styles and materials. Some contained glass bowls. The bowl is believed to be either for sugar, or for the purpose of mixing different varieties of tea to the drinker's personal taste.

As tea became cheaper in the early 1800s, its use was much more widespread, increasing the demand for tea caddies. However, by the late 1800s when tea could be bought pre-packed, the demand for tea caddies as functional items gradually declined.

Today Tea Caddies are sought after as decorative pieces, in all shapes & forms.

Important information below.

If you are purchasing Tortoiseshell or Ivory pieces and are outside the E.U. you must have a CITES certificate in order to import the item into your country. We can obtain these on your behalf at a cost of £50 and these can take up to 14 working days to arrive at our office . Due to the strict exporting rules of these pieces, they may also come with further shipping costs. Please ensure you contact us prior to purchase for a quote.

Shipping Cost:
United Kingdom £25
Europe £45
International £65

For more details about shipping and purchasing please CLICK HERE
Material Tortoiseshell, Ivory
Age C. 1815
Dimensions Width 7 in  (17.78 cm)   Depth 3.75 in  (9.52 cm)  
Height 5.25 in  (13.33 cm)