Elkington Silver Tea Caddy

  • This silver tea caddy was crafted by Frederick Elkington of Elkington and Co.
  • Elkington is famous for pioneering and perfecting the process of electroplating
  • Tea, a revered commodity in Victorian homes, deserved an equally valuable piece like this
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4712

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Uniquely designed in the form of a gift box tied with ribbon, this engaging silver tea caddy was created by the prominent silversmith Frederick Elkington, a partner within Elkington & Co. Tea was a revered commodity in Victorian homes and deserved an equally valuable and treasured piece for proper storage. For this object, the Elkington chose a highly intricate, low-relief chinoiserie motif of pheasants and peonies with gilt details. 

Known as one of the finest 19th-century producers of electroplate wares, Elkington & Co created pieces of individual and exceptional design. Founded during the 1830s, the firm invented and perfected the art and science of silver plating, and they were awarded a patent for this revolutionary technique in 1838. Soon after, they began receiving commissions from the most esteemed clientele and the highest honors at the International Exhibitions. The firm was the supplier of flatware to the luxury dining sections of the Titanic and enjoyed years of Royal commissions from Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII as well as the monarchs of Spain and Italy.

Tea was introduced to England from China sometime in the middle of the 17th century and quickly became an expensive and popular item. The country's respect for this drink is reflected in the ceremonial way in which it was stored, prepared and enjoyed. This tea connoisseurship developed into something of an art form among the elite, and accordingly, a tea caddy like this was a must for true tea aficionados. 

Hallmarked Birmingham, 1876

6 5/8" wide x 7 1/2" high
Elkington Silver Tea Caddy
Maker: Elkington & Co.
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Tea Caddies
Depth: 6.63 Inches
Width: 6.63 Inches
Height: 7.5 Inches
Style: Victorian
Elkington Silver Tea Caddy
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