Also Called :

Octagonal Tea Caddies, Canisters

Rarity :

Very Rare

Age :

Mid 19th Century

Price Range :

Larger: $2,750.-$3,500. Smaller: $2,350.-$2,750.

Dimensions :

Left to Right:

3 7/8″ square x 6 3/8″ high

3 1/2″ square x 5 1/4″ high

Weight :

Left to Right:

Total Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.;  Top: 1 oz.;  Bottom: 1 lb. 11 oz.

Total Weight: 1 lb.;  Top: 1 oz.;  Bottom: 15 oz.

Provenance :

Left to Right:

Sotheby’s, NYC-1965


Availability :


Description:  These 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: 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.

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