Tea Caddy

Maker: Simeon Soumaine (baptized 1685–ca. 1750)

Date: 1725–40

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: Overall: 4 5/16 x 2 11/16 x 2 1/4 in. (11 x 6.8 x 5.7 cm); 5 oz. 15 dwt. (178 g)
Body: 3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm); 5 oz. 1 dwt. (156.6 g)
Cover: 1 3/8 x 1 1/4 in. (3.5 x 3.2 cm); 14 dwt. (21.4 g)

Classification: Silver

Credit Line: Gift of E. M. Newlin, 1964

Accession Number: 64.249.5a, b


Rare survivals in early American silver, this pair of octagonal tea caddies and matching sugar box emulate contemporary English design. They also evoke the passion for tea–drinking and its costly accessories that became as fashionable in the Colonies as they were abroad. Each vessel is engraved with the arms and crest of the Bayard family of New York. Although only one tea caddy entered the Metropolitan’s collection in 1964 (64.249.5a,b), the set was reunited in 2015 with the purchase of the matching caddy and sugar box (2015.93.1a,b-2a,b).