Mid-1800s, perhaps earlier, the breathtaking old early Victorian tortoise shell tea caddy you see here is complete, in really fine condition (very slight imperfections consistent with age and type, but no missing veneer or serious issues) and displays beautifully. Fine old tea caddies like this are so difficult to find priced anywhere under the $5000 range or higher, and they're astronomical when we look for them in London, Paris and environs. This one comes to us with both of the original interior compartment lids fully intact, original lathe- turned ivory knobs in fine form, and the matching liner to the ivory lip on both top and bottom are fully intact, as well. The silver cartouche you see there in front and the surrounding ornamentation of inlaid mother of pearl and abalone shell and tiny silver pique work is a fine highlight to the superb cognac to chocolate of the shell. Raised on ball feet and with stringing of ivory, it's one of the most beautiful caddies we've had in years. Exceptional! The caddy is 6.5" x 4.25" and is 5.25" tall.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, there is one line across one of those triangular corner panels that isn't distracting, and also a very little roughness at an edge here or there on the shell veneer that is more a natural shell issue than representative of any damage. There is some loss to the foil lining of the inner wells, consistent with age, of course. No warping or off-kilter to the caddy, and it closes nicely, very very slightly with underbite, if you can call it that. Also, the one flaw notable is that there is not a escutcheon around the opening for the key, and there is not a key, but it would appear that the locking mechanism is fully intact and it's normally relatively simple to replace the keys for these simple old locks. I would think there would have been a metal rim- lining to the keyhole at one time, and none remains. That said, there are no cracks or significant issues to deal with and the shell veneers and inlays are all solidly in place - just truly breathtakingly beautiful in person. I have this one displayed right now in my living room, tempted to just keep it forever. Fine satin polished finish shows the colors beautifully. You will truly love this one!
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details. We do hold a valid USFWS license, as well, for import/export, but additional time is required for export, and we are not exporting at this time.
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