Lincoln & Reed Antique Coin Silver Chinoiserie Tea Caddy, Boston, likely made by Eoff & Phyfe, New York City, 1847
This large and exquisite example of an early coin silver tea caddy was retailed in Boston by Lincoln & Reed. It is beautifully formed with curved and flat panels which would have required an incredibly gifted silversmith to create.
An applied Chinese figure rests on the dome of the hinged cover. Beautiful chased scroll work and floral and foliate design border the edge.
Each of the panels has exceptional engraving. The execution is stunning. The front has a cartouche surrounding an 'ME' monogram. The front scene is romanticized with two small birds to the left and right of the top of the cartouche. Lovely engraved foliage and icicled designs are seen throughout. On the bottom right and left corners of the main scene are two Chinese figures: one carrying a bucket and the other holding an umbrella.
The back panel is engraved 'January 1st, 1847' within a cartouche surrounded by scroll and foliate engraving.
This rare silver tea caddy is marked underneath 'LINCOLN & REED' and 'BOSTON'. within rectangular punches. Also underneath is a museum accession code, '71.66', which means at one time it was part of a museum collection and later deaccessioned.
The size, shape and construction of this piece are very similar to examples marked by Eoff & Shepherd in New York City. Eoff & Shepherd are known to have been suppliers to Lincoln & Reed, although in 1847 Edgar Mortimer Eoff was in partnership with William Phyfe so Eoff & Phyfe were the likely makers of this tea caddy.
It measures 5.5 inches wide by 4.25 inches deep and 6.25 inches high, weighs 18 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with a beautiful antique surface.