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Tea caddy: C.563-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Unidentified Staffordshire factory




White salt-glazed stoneware, press-moulded with decoration in relief of a flowering tea shrub titled 'CIA or TE herb' and a vine titled 'Herb Teng', embellished with oil gilding of which little remains

Off-white stoneware, press-moulded with integral relief decoration, salt-glazed and oil-gilded. The rectangular caddy was moulded in two halves and has a recessed base and a cylindrical neck. One of the long sides is decorated with a tea plant, to the right of which is impressed 'CIA/or TE/herb'. On the other long side is a vine growing over the branch of a tree, on the right of which is a label inscribed 'H[erb Te]. The reliefs were originally embellished with oil gilding but little of this remains. The two short sides,the shoulder and the neck are undecorated.


History note: Mr George Stoner, London, from whom purchased for £11 on 17 December 1917 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 5.4 cm
Height: 9.8 cm
Width: 7.7 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th Century, Mid
George II
Circa 1750 - 1755


Small vertical firing cracks and faint vertical lines down the short sides show where the two moulded sides were joined.

The designs on the long sides were derived from 'An Appendix or Special Remarks taken at large out of Athanasius Kircher in his Antiquities of China'. in Johan Nieuhoff's An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperour of China, 'Englished' by John Ogilby, Esq., London, 1669. One engraving has the same title as on the tea caddy; 'CIA or TE herbe'; the vine is titled 'Vimen Sinicum called TENG'. The tea shrub was also copied on an octagonal English delftware tea caddy in the Fitzwilliam Museum, C.1536-1928.

School or Style

Oriental style

Components of the work

Surface composed of salt-glaze
Decoration composed of gold

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White stoneware, press-moulded, assembled, salt-glazed, and oil gilded on the reliefs, only remnants of which remain

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: CIA or TE herb
  • Location: On the tea shrub side
  • Method of creation: Press moulded integrally with body
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: almost illegible

  • Text: H[erbe Te]
  • Location: On the vine side
  • Method of creation: Pres-moulded integrally with body
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.563-1928
Primary reference Number: 75535
Old object number: 4232
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 20 January 2022 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tea caddy" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-25 13:53:34

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{{cite web|url= |title=Tea caddy |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-25 13:53:34|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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