Kingwood, with brass handle and engraved escutcheon; the interior partially lined with red velvet, and retaining the original gilded tin [?] caddies
15 .5 (excluding handle) x 22 x 14 cm
English or German, circa 1740-50
Christopher Gilbert & Tessa Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, New Haven and London, 1993 (for a discussion of related tea chests)
Wolfram Koeppe, ‘A Tea Chest by Abraham Roentgen at Frogmore House’, Furniture History XLIII (2007), pp. 161-70, for a discussion of tea chests of this form by Abraham Roentgen.
In the absence of documentation, it is not possible to more than speculate about the maker of this tea chest. Nonetheless, the design can be linked on stylistic grounds with examples in the ‘English Manner’ made by Abraham Roentgen in Herrnhaag during the 1740s, following his return from England (see, for example, Koeppe, fig. 1 – also veneered in kingwood). But attention should also be drawn to English chests of the same form, one veneered in walnut and the other in mahogany (Gilbert & Murdoch, pls 167 and 168).
The engraved escutcheon on the present example appears to be characteristic of English production from the Channon circle, while the handle appears to be identical to one in a Birmingham metal work pattern-book (Koeppe, fig. 4).