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Mark said

Proper English Tea Caddies

Does anyone produce proper English or European style wood tea caddies? I see so many beautiful antique wooden tea caddies on the second (or twelfth) hand market, but while they are beautiful, they have mostly become unusable for their intended purpose as the wood has warped or been damaged from use and neglect and can no longer make a proper air seal. I’d love to find a place that still produces wooden tea caddies.

8 Replies
Mark said

Anyone…..? Anyone……?

Bueller….? Bueller…..?

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ashmanra said

Also, you have to be careful with the antiques because some are lined with lead. D:

Colonial Williamsburg used to sell two sizes of wooden tea caddy, then they converted one of the styles to a cloth lined jewelry box – boo. If you can find those on eBay, they would be newer and pretty safe. I really want a great antique one if I can find it.

Harney and Sons sells a silverplate one but you have to hunt for it on the website. It used to be listed under their Anniversary Blend tea but you could probably just do a search on the site and find it if it is still there, I think it is $25?

Other than that, Dammann Freres and Mariage Freres sometimes have amazing tea caskets and coffrets. I have seen leather and wood, leather, and cloth covered board.

Best of luck to you! I gaze at the ones on eBay and pine…

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cuppaT said

Looks like wooden and porcelain tea caddies have been replaced by tins and Tupperware. The antiques are beautiful but impractical, if not downright dangerous. It would be interesting to make one’s own using a decorated deep wooden box from an import store and a couple of unmarked tins such as those Harney & Sons sell.

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Mark said

Ashmanra – Thank you for the suggestions, the Colonial Williamsburg ones look a little too much like a jewelry box for my taste and the other suggestions are all storage cylinders and not boxes… I had considered the lead content when I saw some that were “tin” lined… most people don’t know what metal is what and without testing it I wouldn’t trust it…

cuppaT – I have considered re-purposing boxes… I was close to buying this AMAZING box on eBay but just couldn’t justify the price… http://www.ebay.com/itm/140902615362 This would have made the ultimate tea caddy but I missed out on the auction close :-( http://www.ebay.com/itm/230908932475 That would have just been unbelievable to have on my bookshelf…

Also I have an e-mail in to this guy http://www.ebay.com/itm/140906883330 to get a quote on a commissioned piece…

cuppaT said

Lovely boxes — sorry you missed out on the auctions. I think the woodworker might be your best choice, however. Maybe he would like the challenge of designing a functional wooden caddy.

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ashmanra said

Those are beautiful boxes! I have been stalking a lot of them on eBay for a while now, but haven’t actually bid on any yet. There is a set of pewter tea caddies from Royal Selangor that I considered, but I also would prefer a proper wooden British one. My hubby actually does beautiful wood working but is so busy that I hesitate to ask him to make one for me. Maybe soon!

I would settle for the rectangular Williamsburg box but haven’t found new in good shape that went for a decent price. I would love to find one with lock and key, and one with the crystal bowl in the center would be even better! I checked Harney’s site and they do not appear to have the traditional silver plated box anymore.

Best of luck finding something special!

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Mark said

Ashmarna – It’s funny you mention your husband doing woodworking, I do it as a hobby and have a full shop in my garage, but like your husband I just don’t have the time…

Royal Selangor makes fantastic quality stuff. I have the “Leaf” Cigar Humidor they make ( http://www.royalselangor.com/rs2/productdetails.php?ProductSKU=1300R ) and if it wasn’t so expensive I’d buy a second one and build an inner divider system with wooden lids and use that… I absolutely LOVE that box and I don’t think there’s been a single person that has walked into my office without asking what it was and what was inside if they didn’t already know… Sure I could get a snap top storage cylinder with a silicon gasket at Bed Bath & Beyond and have a more practical tea storage solution, but to me, the aesthetics of the tea experience are as important as the consumption.

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ashmanra said

I agree wholeheartedly, Mark! I rarely have a mug of tea on the run. I like to make tea a sanity break, or a special time with friends or family.

The humidor is gorgeous! I showed it to my husband and he loved it. I knew he would!

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