Fine Regency sarcophagus style tea caddy with pyramid shaped lid, matching rich mahogany and matching twin tea box lids inside with rare ivory knobs. This piece has two points of old repair at the corners of the lid. The "tea chest" or "caddy", which became popular later, derives from the Malay Chinese "kati" which means a measure of tea weighing about a pound and one third. This single imported commodity was destined to inspire almost two centuries of social ritual and decorative arts. The largest and most diverse group of caddies are the wooden boxes or chests. The high cost of tea assured its status as a luxury item and necessitated a secure container for its storage and display. The construction and decoration of these containers was a reflection of the social rank of the owner. The finest furniture makers were enlisted to produce these boxes, each of which reflected the cabinetmaker's best work. Circa 1820. h. 6" w. 11 1/2" d. 5 1/2".