Caddies & Casters

Don’t be shocked by the extravagance and cost of the caddies on this page – tea was once so expensive that it was drunk only in the wealthiest homes, and the caddies for storing this precious commodity were intended as objects for display as much as for storage.

Caddies were usually kept in the drawing room; some had detachable caps for measuring the tea, while others were even fitted with lock and key to protect their precious contents from dishonest servants!

Nowadays, caddies are keenly collected – and the best ones can be expensive. When you estimate the value of the caddy, you should look for on other pieces:

  • high quality decoration
  • a marker’s mark
  • date marks of the century (for example, 19th century caddies are usually less valuable then 18th century ones)

a george iii sycamore and marquetry tea caddy late 18th century d5348300h

A George III Sycamore And Marquerty Tea Caddy

Casters played an essential role in fashionable dining rooms when liberal quantities of spices and seasonings were essential to disguise the flavour of stale food. Early casters had straight sides, baluster casters were made from c. 1705 becoming taller during the century.


Georgian Sterling Silver Sugar Caster

(cost 2,275 GBP)

They made to hold sugar, pepper or dry mustard and better quality ones have elaborately pierced covers. Most were originally made in pairs or sets and today these are always particularly sought after.


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