Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A few caddy comments

Now here's a category of tea collectible I have yet to discuss: the tea caddy. This blue one is my latest find, a vintage silverplate piece from England with a cobalt blue insert. The insert is some sort of plastic, not glass, which I actually like since that means I cannot break this!

It came with a matching spoon that hangs on the side, which will make this perfect for storing and measuring loose tea. I was also pleased the original hang tag was on the piece. The more "vintage" aspects, the better I like it. And although the tarnish shows in the photo, I polished this up afterward and now it gleams. Call me odd, but I LOVE to polish silver!

This got me to thinking about some of my other tea caddies, so I thought I'd show some of them. This aluminum one was probably part of a canister set, but I found it in an antique shop one day for just $3 and brought it home. It does have some spots, though, so I suppose I should look into how to safely clean vintage aluminum (soap and water didn't do the trick).

This ceramic tea caddy is a new piece that was a Christmas gift from my parents a few years back. It was part of the Songbird Garden collection, which was popular in gift stores at the time. Pretty, huh?

This is another piece I use as a tea caddy, but I know it was part of a vintage canister set because I have the set! My mom found this whole set (which I actually use for storing flour, sugar, coffee and tea) for 25¢ at an estate sale. As I've said before, my mom is amazing!

This wooden tea caddy is a piece I bought on eBay years ago. It's not exactly in mint condition and the lid doesn't fit tightly at all, so I don't store tea in it, but I like the look.

While my collection is more like "The Cheapskate's Guide to Tea Caddies," this little book, "Tea Caddies" by Noel Riley, shows you what tea caddies are going to look like in heaven. Inlaid wood, the finest gold and silver fittings, antique apple- and pear-shaped tea caddies and more. My caddies are nothing like these jewels, but it's fun to know these are "out there." So there you go. Those are all my caddy comments for today!


  1. What a nice collection. I like your latest find too. The cobalt blue is pretty with the silver. Do you have lots of antique stores and flea markets in your area? Sure wish I did.

    I don't really have a real tea caddy. I use a Longaberger canister basket with an airtight unit inside. I have a pewter tea label tie on for the basket. Most of my other loose teas are just kept in the original tins. After seeing your collection, I'll be on the lookout for tea caddys.

  2. What a fun collection! Thanks for sharing. I like the one you found on eBay. If you ever get to New Canaan, CT you *must* visit Sallea Antiques. They are totally devoted to tea caddies.... and they have an amazing collection. It is almost like a museum! I can only dream of owning the caddies they sell; peek at their website http://www.salleaantiques.com as they have many of their caddies listed for sale. You must inquire about the price. No connection here, just remember being in that store and dreaming about picking out a tea caddy! Nancy

  3. ParTea Lady, we do have some good antique stores and flea markets in my town (come visit!), but I'm also close enough to Atlanta (about 30 minutes) that I can easily visit those stores as well. Lucky you for having the Longaberger canister basket. Those baskets are just yummy. Got the Recipe Basket as a wedding gift and I love it!

    And Rosemary, thank you so much for sharing that AWESOME website with all those gorgeous tea caddies! Yes, Sallea Antiques is on my must-see list now ...

  4. Marvelous collection.Very sweets.

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