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Henry Clay Tea Caddy

£ 4,000

Category
Artists
Reference
dibs
dibs
Height
12.5 cm (4 1/1")
Width
12.5 cm (4 1/1")
Depth
8 cm (3 1/4")
Octagonal papier mache Tea Caddy, decorated with classical figures and cherubs. Entwined diaper borders which are also repeated on the hinged, silvered-handled top.

The Henry Clay tea caddy interior contains a floating silver handled inner lid.

Complete with fully working lock and tasselled key.

Provenance: Nolte Collection.

Henry Clay was an assistant to one of the pioneers in papier mache by the name of John Baskerville who started to imitate the highly polished items, that were being imported from Japan, using lacquered papier mache. Which would become known as "japanning". By 1772 Clay had learned enough to start up his own business and in the same year patented a new process for making "paper ware" which involved sheets of paper being soaked in paste and pressed together on a plate. Once separated from the plate they were baked in a hot stove to remove any flexibility, whilst at the same time being coated in varnish or oil. The final product was used like wood, and once coated with colour and oils could be polished to a high shine. Around 1785 Henry Clay acquired a retail premises in London's Covent Garden. George III was one of his patrons by 1792 and Clay adopted the title "Japanner to His Majesty."

Provenance: "Nolte Collection".
Height
12.5 cm (4 1/1")
Width
12.5 cm (4 1/1")
Depth
8 cm (3 1/4")
Year
c. 1790
Medium
Papier Mache
Country
United Kingdom
Provenance
Nolte Collection 2007.
This tea caddy was displayed at "A Tea Journey: from Mountain to the Table" exhibition at Compton Verney 2019.
Exhibitions
BADA, CADA, LAPADA, OLYMPIA