Containers for keeping dry tea leaves, now called tea caddies, were a fashionable accessory during the eighteenth century. Tea was also very expensive at that time and was heavily taxed, so the antique silver tea caddies we see today reflected the value of the contents.
Caddy is taken from The Malay word cati, which was a weight by which tea was first purchased. As tea became a cheaper commodity, the use of silver tea caddies declined through the nineteenth century, until more were created again by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Smaller caddies fashioned on earlier designs became popular again and are highly collectible today
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