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18th Century Tea Canister in Copper Repousse

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Metals: Copper: Pre 1920: item # 1155920

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Jupiter, Florida

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18th Century Tea Canister in Copper Repousse
This tea canister has silver gilding over copper repousse on all sides and top. Called a tea caddy at the beginning of the 19th Century, it was derived from "catty", a Chinese unit of measurement of about one pound.[8B, 179C] The repousse work on all four sides is of framed scenes with figures, animals and landscapes with chased-in details. The hand punch work can be observed through the opening. The top of the tea canister is acanthus leaf pattern done by repousse and incised details. The domed cover is cast pewter with three different scenes with a floral bouquet on the top. It was silver gilded to match the canister. There is an impressed casting mark on the bottom the resembles a scripted "T", a fleur-de-lis, and a scripted "M". References indicate that four major maker's marks were used in 18th Century France by metal workers.[SCM] This is one of the maker's marks, where the initial of the first name of the maker precedes the fleur-de-lis and the first initial of the last name follows it. We think it was crafted in France or Belgium. We find similar repousse of the 18th Century in references.[8D, AOGE] Much of the silver is worn showing the copper highlights of the tree trunks, animals, figures' bodies and building shapes. The antique is not dented or scratched. Although it would not be used for tea anymore, its hand done repousse and chasing makes it a canister in its own class. References available upon request. Size: ~ 3 3/4" H x 2 1/4"; Weight: ~ 214 grams

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