House Model Tea Caddy, ca. 1870
This house-form tea caddy represents the increasingly broad market for tea in 19th-century England combined with the fashion for medieval and Tudor architecture. Some of this architecture was called Shavian Queen Anne, so named for Richard Norman Shaw, the architect who popularized larger houses that blended Tudor and other later elements. The style, however, had little to do with early 18th-century Queen Anne architecture, but rather brought 19th-century scale to historic styles. The half-timbered style was used by Liberty and Company, a purveyor of many tea accessories, for its Regent Street shop during this era.
The tea caddy house has a roof that lifts to reveal two compartments for tea, a common practice in more elegant 18th-century tea caddies in England. This enabled the owner to show the sophistication of having two types of tea and combining them to taste or time of day. The glass bowl inside was for mixing the teas and is original. While tea had been a very expensive import during the 18th century, increased trade by the East India Company and increased wealth in Britain due to both the industrial revolution and trade enabled a broad spectrum of people to enjoy tea in the 19th century.
This model is one of a group of models proposed for acquisition. Models are an important part of the design process, and demonstrate craftsmanship, skill of execution, and the innovative use of materials. The group under consideration would provide the museum with an opportunity to examine the role of the model in many contexts.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 30.5 x 34.3 x 31.8 cm (12 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
House Model Tea Caddy, ca. 1870; England; various woods; H x W x D: 30.5 x 34.3 x 31.8 cm (12 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2013-3-6-a/f
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Virtue in Vice.