Extraordinary antique early 19th century French triple tea caddy. Large rectangular form to this wood box with ebonized finish, nice serpentine edge skirting the base, the lid trimmed with a carved gadroon border characteristic of the Charles X to Louis-Philippe era (1830s to 1840s). Decorated with exquisite gilt bronze ormolu mounts and brass stringing. The lavish gilt bronze includes corner mounts with charming cherub/putti faces hidden among the intricate scrolling foliage. The lid and base enhanced with gilt bronze trim patterned with rocailles, resting on four ornate casted feet. The large porcelain plaques decorating the box evoke a Chinoiserie motif, with a hand painted battle scene adorning the lid and two square plaques detailed with birds and pagodas done in raised enamel on a Celadon green color ground. Working lock and key. The two front doors open to reveal a rosewood interior with brass inlaid stringing to the lid. A nice added touch to the interior is the meticulous pique inlay surrounding the individual slots supporting tea canisters inside. Truly superb craftsmanship to this tea caddy with no detail amiss.
Housing three porcelaine de paris tea canisters. The trio comprises of two stoppered tea canisters and a lidded container perhaps for housing sugar or ideal for creating a melange with tea leaves out of the other two bottles. Each of rectangular form with canted corners. Decorated in the style of Chinese export porcelain, with rose medallion or famille rose influence. All three porcelain canisters hand painted with portraits of figures, birds in vibrant colors and gilded pagodas. Enhanced with gold gilt accents. Further decorated with raised enamel pink flower blossoms and leaves on Celadon green ground.
Certainly a museum quality piece. You would be hard pressed to find one just like it. Overall a beautiful old tea caddy box in wonderful antique condition as you can see. To the lid is evidence of small thin age cracks to the wood surrounding the central plaque, these were at one time touched-up, blending in well with the ebonized finish. To the interior of the lid is also a touch-up to the rosewood finish hiding a horizontal crack. All age related. The canisters inside are in good condition with no chips or cracks, some wear to the gold accents to be expected from use. One tea bottle having some small paint loss to the pink flowers as shown in our images. Dimensions: Tea box is 10 3/8" length x 5 1/2" width x 6 3/4" tall. The stoppered tea canisters are 5" tall x 3 5/8" length x 2 5/8" width, the center tea canister is 5" x 3 1/2" x 2 1/2".