Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies & Society: 1700–1880

Antigone Clarke & Joseph O’Kelly

2nd Edition

Available Now


The charm of this remarkable book is overwhelming, in which antique boxes and tea caddies—along with the people who inspired, made, and used them—dance gracefully through the pages. The reader is guided through the aesthetic, cultural, and social influences of the years covered, accumulating a deep understanding of the form, decoration, and purpose of 18th- and 19th-century boxes. The extensive text covers wooden, tortoiseshell, ivory, papier-mâché, and lacquer boxes. There are chapters on Anglo Indian, Scottish, Irish, Penwork, Straw work, and Tunbridge ware boxes, as well as on boxes made for special purposes. Captions include complete descriptions, values, and circa dates for all boxes shown. The 1,000 plus images include original drawings, magnificent photographs of complete pieces, and close-ups illustrating the structure and decoration of boxes. This is an indispensable companion for box collectors and reflects fascinating information about cultural forces that shaped the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Size: 9" x 12" | 1,024 color images | 384 pp
ISBN13: 9780764356216

 Back to Results 

Joseph and Antigone live in an old part of London, close to the heart of traditional cabinet making. There is a wealth of material relating to their chosen fields, in libraries, museums, and homes easily accessible to them. Joseph has a passion in nurturing old string instruments back to health and has carried out conservation projects photographing the work in progress. Antigone has been dealing in and documenting boxes for nearly fifty years, delving into their history and finding them appreciative homes. Too busy sourcing boxes, she leaves the running of the house to the cats.