Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object ID # 1956.020.006
Object Name Caddy, Tea
Title Tea Box (19th-Century)
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Date mid-19th-century
Made Unknown tinsmith
Place of Origin Unknown
Description This is a tole-painted, formerly black-finished metal box . This tin box has a hinged lid, with a movable wire handle, and a hasp latch which flips down and would allow the box to be locked with a small lock. The lid has a decorative border and the front has a faded design of flowers with gold stems and leaves. It is in a weakened state due to age: the metal is brittle, and when opened, the box falls apart because the sides no longer adhere together.
Provenance According to the last owner, Jessie MacKay, this was a wedding gift, filled with tea. It was later filled with spices and used by the McElheron family, originally of Ireland, who settled in Sydenham Township, Grey County.

Her mother had been a McElheron. The McElherons were related to the McClarty family. Neil and Hugh McElheron came from Ireland.
Collection Household Equipment, 19th-c Collection
Material Metal/Paint
Dimensions H-18.5 W-22 L-16.5 D-3.8 cm
Found Sydenham Township (formerly), Municipality of Meaford, Grey County
Subjects Tea
Function The donor said that she was told that these were sometimes given, filled with tea, as wedding presents in the mid-19th-century. Tea could be pilfered, so tea caddies often had a means by which to lock them up if needed. In those days, dried tea leaves were kept in caddies, and would be spooned out as needed.