00These two are very rare octagonals and although they have the same shape there are differences. Besides the size difference, the larger tea caddy has the rain cloud border both on the top and on the top of the base. The smaller one only has the rain cloud border on the top and has 4 flowers on top of the base. Very unusual for any form of Canton, the larger example has 4 Chinese characters on the bottom of the base. Herbert Schiffer says in his book that the marks are a Chen Lung mark, 1726-1796 but are not indicative of the caddy's manufacturing date. Later information indicates these are Kangxi marks which indicates a range of manufacture of 1880-1920. We believe this caddy was made in the earlier period of this date range. For an excellent and incredibly comprehensive website discussing and picturing Chinese and Japanese marks, access this website: http://www.gotheborg.com. For the caddy's marks go into the Chinese section and the Kangxi period. The similarities are the shape of both, the octagonal base rims and glazed bottoms and both tops are glazed inside and the throats are glazed. Note: as many tea caddy tops have been broken or lost, their presence adds considerably to the caddy's value. Some caddies have unglazed throats and unglazed insides of the tops. Be careful when you buy tea caddies that they match in this regard.
Museum Gallery Items
Mustard pots are quite rare and seldom seen. They are very similiar to Syllabub cups but there are differences. They both have berry knobs, twisted handles and glazed bottoms. Note: later Syllabubs have a ball knob and a loop handle. The most notable difference is a 1/2" wide hole in the top's rim for the mustard spoon. See the last picture to see the spoons in the pots. Another difference is the tapered sides of the pots compared to bulbous sides on the Syllabubs.
Very rare and expensive are Marmites. "Marmite" is described as being broth or soup or in more recent times marmite as a brewer's yeast concentrate. These round straight sided pots with tops took the name of their intended contents. These marmites have spouts and loop handles with tangs. We date them to Mid 19th Century to late 19th as their knobs are simple balls or flattened balls. Note that there is one continuous scene around the Marmites. We have saved the biggest surprise for last. Marmites are one of the very few Canton forms that have a figure on the bridge! See the last picture for the bridge views and a closeup of the figures holding parasols. They also appear in the Mixed Pattern Gallery. Also notice the unusual use of dark blue dots in the landscape. Both the tops and bottoms have rain cloud borders except the smallest whose top does not.