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Rosewood, tea chest inlaid with brass by Wm. Dobson, London Circa 1810

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Reference: TC491

Description:
TC491: Rosewood,  tea chest inlaid with brass tea chest having embossed gilt brass drop ring handles to the sides made by William Dobson. Inside there are three compartments containing two hinged lift out tea canisters and a central well with original deeply cut crystal sugar bowl. Circa 1810.

Origin:

Circa:

Materials:

Size: It measures  inches wide  by  inches deep and it is  inches  high including feet: 31.6  cm wide by 16.8 cm deep by 18 cm high.

Condition:

 

TC491: Rosewood,  tea chest inlaid with brass tea chest having embossed gilt brass drop ring handles to the sides made by William Dobson. Inside there are three compartments containing two hinged lift out tea canisters and a central well with original deeply cut crystal sugar bowl. Circa 1810. Enlarge Picture

 

 

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Inside the chest are two lift-out lidded canisters and a cut glass bowl.  The lid is lined with velvet.

This is  the classic form for a three compartment tea chest. There is a central cut crystal bowl flanked by two hinge lidded lift out canisters. 

It is interesting to compare it to a chest from the 1790's: 

Hygra: A Harewood Three Compartment Tea Caddy circa 1790.

 

 

 The inlays are restrained. The escutcheon is is small. 
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The heavy cut crystal bowl.

The bowl is a particularly beautiful example and original to the chest.

The bowl is probably Irish. The tax on the weight of materials used in glass manufacturing in England and Scotland did not apply in Ireland until 1825. 

This resulted in the setting up of glassworks in various port towns in Ireland such as Waterford and Cork (1783).

There are little differences in the faceting. Each was looked at as it was cut by the original artist who is now un-named.

 

 

 

 

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The lift out canisters retain some of their original lead.

The lids have a continuous hinge are of mahogany construction and have their lids veneered with rosewood. They are inlaid with a brass line.

 

 

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One of the canisters has a label indicating that the chest was made by William Dobson.

DOBSON, W., or DOBSON, W M.: Hardware man Stationer and Dealer in Fine Cutlery. Strand 162 London . Pocket Books, Writing Desks Shaving & Dressing Cases every article for fitting up the same on the Lower Terms possible. 

This firm traded from 1797-1847, from different numbers in the Strand . They had a very interesting label with quarter paterae designs in the four corners, listing some of their wares in each narrow section, in addition to the list in the center of the label, for which they were "manufacturers". The business must have sold associated items, as much of their stock required different disciplines. Two amusing items they list are "teeth instruments" and "Ear Wares"!  Although they did trade into the Victorian era, all the items I have handled belonged to their earlier period. This of course could be that they continued to make older designs, using mahogany well into the 19th century.

 

 The inside of tea-chests is complex. the carcass wood is often as here pine Liners of mahogany edged with rounded rosewood are slipped in. They are often not glued. For this picture I have slid out one of the pieces of wood which separates the compartments. The well for holding the bowl is lined with green velvet. 

This space is very secret and has been used to conceal things. I have sometimes found letters here.

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The lids have a continuous hinge are of mahogany construction and have their lids veneered with rosewood. They are inlaid with a brass line.

 

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The upper part of the canisters which shows when  they are in the chest is veneered with rosewood.

 

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 Detail of the embossed brass drop handle It retains some of its original guilding.. 

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The figure of the rosewood of the top is particularly attractive. 

 

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2010 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com