Hair Cuts & Kind Customers | Mark Goodger Antiques
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Hair Cuts & Kind Customers

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June 11th 2020
Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and taking good care of yourselves. Huge thanks as always for your continued support and purchases, its always very much appreciated. A special thanks also goes out for all the lovely emails and phone calls checking in on us in these surreal times.
We have been very fortunate to have had the driest UK weather in May for 124 years and our beautiful Northamptonshire county being the driest having only 1.5mm of rain. I have made good use of this super weather, gained a nice tan having the pleasure of working on my Laptop outside on the odd day, whilst in the evenings and at weekends soaking up any sun in the garden with a nice G&T or two, rude not too…! How ever its a little colder and wet currently.

Great news my team are back from Furlough, Hip Hip Hooray, they returned last week although not being able to visit their barbers or hair dressers they are barely recognisable…!

Some new items added to our inventory!
Glo-Hill Cocktail Set
Decorative Storage Box
Melon Tea Caddy
Rolls Royce Decanter
Striking Tea Caddy
Angels of Love Tea Caddy
Childs Tunbridge Basket
Magnificent Jewellery Box
Green Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy
Looking for something specific don’t forget to use the search bar on our homepage.

Kind & Generous Customers 

Our previous newsletter struck a chord with a one of our lovely collectors. She very kindly called me to see how I was doing and most importantly how my doggy is. We have known her for many years now, a avid collector of money boxes which I enjoy finding for her, its a tough task though as she has nearly everyone that was ever made. Mrs Money Box is a huge dog lover like myself and insisted on giving me a donation of £100 after seeing all the pics of Roxy. We have passed on this generous gift to “Dogs for the Deaf ” a very worthy cause and another thing very close to my heart having a Sister who was born Deaf.
THANK YOU Mrs Money Box, from Me, Roxy and “Dogs for the Deaf”. xxx


Hooked on Opium and on Tea..!

At first glance, the tea caddy has very little connection to society today. These beautifully made and often exquisite works of art with their little locks seem to be more curios of a bygone age. Few would deny that the industrial revolution of the 19th century had a profound influence on Britain and the rest of the world. How did the British empire find the means to develop? The answer is of course in various ways mostly consisting of the Royal Navy, colonisation and trade. This really got going in the 18th century particularly with the West Indian and East Indian trades. The East India Company was set up by Royal Charter by Elizabeth I in 1600 and it was to exercise a monopoly until 1833. Tea was introduced into England by Charles the Second’s Portuguese Queen, Catherine of Braganza. It was initially consumed for medicinal purposes but eventually became popular in the London coffee houses. By the early 18th century it had become the alcohol free beverage of choice and as the century progressed the British tea ceremony developed into a sophisticated domestic occasion. The government levied a very large duty on China tea and it suited them well to work with the East India Company and its monopoly. During the period only the wealthiest could afford good quality tea, (only available from China at the time) and examples of fine chests and caddies were made, some with silver canisters.

These expensive boxes were locked to keep out servants’ fingers and keep the contents fresh. The chatelaine or lady of the house was usually the key holder and the ceremony was an opportunity for ladies to converse and gossip without the presence of servants. The hostess often kept her own blend of tea secret and guests at the ceremony abided by a strict etiquette. Besides the caddy other vital equipage included, a tea kettle or urn, tea pot, sugar bowl and nips, mote and tea spoons and later a cream jug. Some of these were in silver but very often the pot, sugar bowl and always the cups and saucers were Chinese export porcelain. Whilst the most precious and profitable cargo the tea, was shipped above sea level, the porcelain which had already made a long journey from Jingdezhen to Canton, was shipped as ballast at the bottom of the ships. Other items such as silks and furniture were also imported. Tea duty was raised by the governments at various times during the 18th century, usually to finance a war but the East India Company were also in a position to keep prices artificially high. Tea was auctioned at East India House, Leadenhall Street, now the site of the Lloyds building. An inch of candle burned before the fall of the hammer of each lot. The tea was bought by dealers who sold it on to the public in smaller quantities. The murky side of the trade was that tea was mostly paid for by the sale of opium in China which had been imported directly and grown in India. The Chinese considered their culture to be superior to the Europeans and although the Emperor Quanlong accepted expensive European diplomatic gifts, there was no demand for European goods on a scale needed to trade for the demand in tea. 

Silver was accepted but as Great Britain was on Gold Standard they did not have enough of that either. The mass pouring of opium into China obviously had detrimental effects and eventually led to the Opium Wars of the 19th Century. The trade was so profitable that the East India Company did whatever was necessary to protect it which included fending off the Portuguese, Dutch and especially the French. The Company was also ruthless in its treatment of the Indian whether he was ruler or farmer. One of the privileges of being an officer working for the East India Company was the space allowed for them to bring back personal cargo and many a fortune was made in this way. China offered plenty of choice, tea, specially commissioned export porcelain, silks etc but India was no less important. Apart from more silk, cotton, spices etc local craftsmen who worked on palaces and temples found themselves commissioned to make special pieces for the British.

These craftsmen specialised in inlaying ivory or bone into solid rosewood or padauk. British patterns were sent out and we find a hybrid of European shapes but made with Indian techniques called Vizagapatam. Tea was too expensive for most people at this time and half of imports were in fact smuggled in. The gangs were almost never caught as the public feared they would lose their suppliers. It was not until the Commutation Act 1784 after much lobbying that the new Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger vastly reduced the duty on tea from 119% to 12.5% which solved the smuggling problem instantly. The already existing Window Tax was hugely increased to compensate the shortfall. After this date when the price of tea halved we see the growth in production of tea chests and caddies. Whereas previously these boxes were made by furniture makers we now see a growth in specialist trade “cabinet small makers”. These were specialists who used a much wider variety of materials (examples). There were various stages of change for the East India Company every time a new Charter Act was renewed but they did finally lose their monopoly in 1833 with the effect that the trade for tea would become a competitive business. Whoever could transport their cargo the quickest would have a significant advantage in this free market and this encouraged the development of the smaller and faster tea clippers like the Cutty Sark. By the mid Victorian period there was no longer the need to lock tea away from servants-the exclusivity of the product, the expensive equipage and the showing off at the tea ceremony had wained and so had the demand for the tea caddy as a social status symbol. During the most profitable period in its history, the East India Company had its own army, employed thousands of people including accountants, auditors,treasurers and clerks. It was the first blue-print for the modern multi-national corporation. It was supported by the Government and was too large not to be bailed out in 1773. But it defended its position to remain a legally separate entity. Robert Clive who ran The Company at this time became one of the wealthiest self-made men. While the Chinese were being hooked on opium and the British on tea, the exchequer benefited exponentially. Do we realise that when we hold a tea caddy we are not only holding an exceptional piece of craftsmanship, we are also holding a small box representing a very large seminal, economic, political and social part of history…?


Following government guidelines we can now open our showroom, this is as always by appointment only. All government guide lines have been taken to make sure your visit is safe. How ever our online services are still the best way of purchasing.

Certain postal restrictions in place due to the corona virus. Prior to purchasing if you are uncertain of any postal restrictions where you live please get in contact and we will look into it for you.        

Tel +44 (0) 1604 863 979
Mob. +44 (0) 7779 654 879


Mark                                                           Goodger                                                           Antiques
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01604 863979 (Monday – Friday: 9am – 4:30pm) 
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Mark                                                           Goodger                                                           Antiques

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Visits are by appointment only. If you have any questions relating to future appointments or an item you are considering purchasing please get in touch.

We are listening to your feedback and appreciate some items are a little out of reach, so we are now accepting layaway payment methods. Contact us for more details about the item you’d like to purchase.     

Email Address:

Telephone:         +44 (0) 1604 863 979
Mobile:               +44 (0) 7779 654 879

Our 2019 brochure can be viewed by clicking on the image below. A complimentary copy will be sent with all purchases. Please contact us if anything is of interest.
We now accept payments for items online! So if you see something you like please go ahead and purchase the item before it gets snapped up!! 
This can be done by clicking on the “Add to Cart” button on the item you would like to purchase.
Then click on the shopping cart icon at the top of the page and click on “proceed to checkout” button on the dropdown menu.
Payments can also be made by bank transfer, paypal, or by credit/debit card through a telephone call to our office on +44 (0) 1604 863979. Please bare in mind that the facility to deliver an item to an address other than that of the registered card-holder is only available for existing customers.

Send us an email with as much information as possible and we’ll get straight on the case for you. We may even have that coveted piece in our ‘special reserve’! Click the link to get in touch:

And finally…. thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please forward it on to friends & colleagues who may be interested.

Mark Goodger
& all the team.

Email Address:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1604 863979
Mobile:       +44 (0) 7779 654879


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Mark Goodger Antiques · Northampton · Northamptonshire, NN7 · United Kingdom

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