|Chinese Export Lacquer tea caddies
dating from the early part of the 19th century are shaped. Their shapes are
an attempt at the sarcophagus form interpreted into a rounder and more
organically grown whole dictated by the material and the method of construction.
There are variations of the shape but basically it is a rounded version
of a foreshortened rectangular form with gently stepped lid. Single round
examples as well as more unusual shapes like melons, gourds and butterflies
also exist; these are now very rare.
These caddies contain pewter removable canisters.
There are also large square caddies from this period. The shaped caddies
often have wooden gilded feet. These echo the fashionable European lion feet.
Superior carved feet with dragon heads or Chinese dog heads are also found.