Collection of 200-year-old old tea caddies go up for auction (and they’re expected to sell for £10k)

How brew-tiful! Extremely rare collection of 200-year-old old tea caddies go up for auction (and they’re expected to sell for £10,000)

A collection of rare tea caddies that are up to 200 years old are expected to sell for up to £10,000 at auction.

The set is being sold with auctioneers Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury, Wiltshire, who said it is one of the largest and best collections they have seen in years. 

The unnamed collector amassed the 24 tea caddies, which are from the 18th and 19th century, over the last half a century.

The items were used to store tea and often had a lock as tea was an expensive commodity in those days. 

A collection of rare tea caddies that are up to 200 years old has emerged for sale for almost £10,000

A collection of rare tea caddies that are up to 200 years old has emerged for sale for almost £10,000

The highlight of the collection is a rare Treen fruitwood caddy dating to about 1800 in the shape of a pumpkin or squash, which is expected to be sold for £1,200.

A rare green tortoiseshell caddy with red velvet lined interior and ivory handles from the early 19th century is predicted to fetch £800.

Tea was introduced to Britain from China in the middle of the 17th century and by the late 18th century it was pivotal in the history of Britain.

It was believed to be therapeutic as well as delicious. Tea was expensive, about 16 shillings per pound by the end of the 18th century, beyond the reaches of ordinary people who would buy second-hand leaves from inns. 

The highlight of the collection is a rare Treen fruitwood caddy dating to about 1800 in the shape of a pumpkin, which is estimated to sell for £1,200

The highlight of the collection is a rare Treen fruitwood caddy dating to about 1800 in the shape of a pumpkin, which is estimated to sell for £1,200

A late 18th century Treen fruitwood tea caddy in the form of a pear is part of the sale 'Varie-tea' of tea caddies up for auction

A late 18th century Treen fruitwood tea caddy in the form of a pear is part of the sale ‘Varie-tea’ of tea caddies up for auction

Caddies were usually lined with lead, zinc or another metal to keep the tea fresh for longer and locked because the servants could not be trusted.

Most of the caddies in this collection are made from wood such as mahogany, rosewood or walnut, but there are also some in mother of pearl, tortoiseshell and shagreen leather.

Mark Yuan-Richards, from Woolley & Wallis, said: ‘This is a large collection, one of the largest and best we have had for some years, and it has attracted interest from private collectors and dealers.

The unnamed collector amassed the 24 tea caddies, which are from the 18th and 19th century, over the last half a century

The unnamed collector amassed the 24 tea caddies, which are from the 18th and 19th century, over the last half a century

The collection is now being sold with auctioneers Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury, Wiltshire, who said it is one of the largest and best collections they have seen in years

The collection is now being sold with auctioneers Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury, Wiltshire, who said it is one of the largest and best collections they have seen in years

‘People collect caddies for a number of reasons – they are small, they display well and they come in a number of forms. 

‘Many people are interested in the social historical aspects of the history of tea and tea-drinking in Britain.

‘This collection is part of a deceased estate, assembled over the last 50 years.

‘The squash form is especially rare – fruit forms are relatively common but they tend to be apples and pears.’

The tea caddies will be sold during the auction on 19 Thursday in Salisbury.

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