A rare pair of antique silver tea caddy boxes with sliding lids. Britannia standard silver*. The removable cap doubles up as a tea measure. Lovely plain hexagonal design and good gauge silver. Each sliding top caddy has a hand engraved armorial, within a decorative cartouche, engraved to the front. Engraved underneath are the original owner’s initials. Total weight 328 grams, 10.5 troy ounces. Height 12 cms. Base 9.2 x 5 cms. London 1720. Maker John Gibbons.
These charming antique tea boxes are in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The engraving is still crisp. Each is stamped with a full set of clear and matching English silver hallmarks to the body, makers and lion mark underneath the box and on the sliding lid, top unmarked.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.