The Hygra Antique Boxes at the Sign of the Hygra
2 Middleton Road, London, E8 4BL, UK.
(by appointment only)   
PHONE: 00 44 (0)20 7254 7074 
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Sewing box 



tea caddies


Chinese- export




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Joseph O'Kelly 
Antigone Clarke 

at the Sign of the Hygra
2 Middleton Road 
London E8 4BL 
United Kingdom 

Appointment only

Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7 254 7074 


Welcome to the antique box and tea caddy place. The online virtual museum of the Antique Box.

We have a large range of exquisite 18th and 19th century boxes made in wood, tortoiseshell, ivory, papier-mâché etc.  There are tea caddies, sewing-boxes jewellery boxes, stationery boxes, writing boxes, and lap desks. Fitted dressing boxes. Snuff boxes and patch boxes. We have Anglo-Indian, Chinese export  lacquer boxespenwork and Tunbridgeware boxes. 

We also  stock boxed games such as, Cribbage boxes, Pope Joan boxes, chess sets, card boxes. As long as the box is as important as the game.

The website is primarily maintained as an information source on antique boxes and caddies. The boxes shown are not necessarily in our current inventory. It has become the virtual museum of antique boxes and caddies!

If you would like further information on what currently is available please email us telling us your wants in as much detail as possible. It's important to tell us if you can receive pictures by email. See also terms of business.

Tea caddies and chests  thumbnail index Writing box thumbnail index Sewing boxes thumbnail index Dressing boxes Jewelry boxes thumbnail index Anglo Indian boxes Oriental boxes


Antique Boxes and Tea Caddies

Enlarge Photograph

Terms of Business

  We welcome American Express

Links Page.

Our long awaited Schiffer Book for collectors was published in 2003. 

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880 
Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly,
ISBN: 0764316885 is now available.

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880 Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly, ISBN: 0764316885 is now available
For further information, reviews, and links to order the book please click on the cover picture or  


You can order the book from Amazon  by clicking one of the links below:

 Using these links helps to support this website and is much appreciated.

The second revised and enlarged edition is now available

The second revised and enlarged edition is available 


And from Barnes and Noble with the link below:



Sewing box article updated

Vanity /dressing  box article updated more photos added

Writing box / lap desk article updated more photos added


Chess set goes to Chichester  Festival Theatre

New Articles:

I have just republished  to the web Mechi's Catalogue of  Manfactures 1841 . The boxes when originally made were much more expensive than now:
Mechi was a well established London Maker. 



 Boxes Painted by Artists

"There is a small but distinguished group of boxes which has puzzled me for years......


Inside Antiques, the newest program from the  BBC Antiques Roadshow takes an in depth look at tea caddies with Antigone and Joseph talking with Lars Tharp.

Inside Antiques, Tea Caddies explored,  Antigone with Lars Tharp Antiques Roadshow expert

The program is 7/12 of the new series and scheduled to be broadcast on Jan 25th 2004 on BBC4 just after the Antiques Roadshow.

November 4th Joseph interviewed by Nick Girdler of BBC Radio Solent, on Writing boxes and slopes. Follow the BBC link for notes of the interview. 


Antigone and Joseph have  had a new article on Tea Caddies published in the October 2003 issue of The Journal of Antiques. There is an on line version on their website.

Tea caddies or tea chests -  the decorative boxes that contain canisters - epitomize a whole era - of English society.


A little more about us:

Our names are Antigone and Joseph.

We value and try to preserve original finishes and condition.

We also deal in stringed instruments:- Lutes, mandolins, classical guitars, and 'uds (ouds /Arabic lute).

By avoiding the high overheads and crowds of the popular antique centers we can offer buyers quality stock at reasonable prices. 

We can ship items anywhere in the world using Federal Express.  Many destinations can be next day.  For more shipping information see Terms of Business. 

Joseph will undertake restoration  or conservation of museum quality early stringed instruments. Reports on conservation, care and historical background can also be undertaken in conjunction with restoration/conservation work.

 Joseph has been a maker (lute 'ud and guitar)/dealer/conservator of  plucked string instruments for over twenty five years and his workshop (same address) is included on the register of conservators maintained by the Conservation Unit of the Museums and Galleries Commission.

Antigone has been dealing in boxes for over twenty five years.  She started the well known "Box Shop" which was located at Camden Passage. She has examined boxes as a collector, dealer, advisor, cataloguer and conservator and writer.

In the hope that her many years of experience will offer some guidance both to collectors and to people who wish to use beautiful things as a way of enhancing their environment, Antigone has now published a selection of her box notes on the Internet and the book

This site is still under construction (and probably always will be) and new illustrations and information will be added continually as time permits.  New articles will be added, as they are prepared. 

Bookmark this page  now by pressing Ctrl d.

Email Antiques Boxes with orders/enquiries.






© 19992022 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly All rights reserved.

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