Inventory no.: 2774

Colonial Horn & Silver Tea Caddy


Horn Tea Caddy with Engraved Silver Mounts

India or Sri Lanka

18th century

height: 11.2cm, diameter: 11.2cm

This very unusual box – probably intended as a tea caddy – comprises to semi-spheres of shaped and pressed horn with finely engraved silver mounts.

The silver mounts comprises a roundel to the top of the box, silver hoops pinned to the rims of the base and cover, an elaborate rear hinge flange and a lock cover and hinge at the front.

The lock would have been turned by a now missing key.

There are cracks to the horn and chips to the edging near the opening beneath and over the silver edging. These losses are compensated for by the rarity of this item. There are no obvious maker’s or control marks on the silver.


Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956 reprint of the 1908 edition.Provenance:

UK art market

Inventory no.: 2774