This Regency-period parquetry inlaid and kingwood teapoy, 2ft 4in (71.5cm) high, is offered on Patrick Sandberg’s website for £4800.
In the early 19th century, when the object was created, tea was a valuable commodity and would have been kept ‘above stairs’ under lock and key. Most homes featured tea caddies but sometimes cabinet makers would create special pieces of furniture, known as teapoys, for the purpose.
“Our teapoy, which is magnificently inlaid with many tropical woods, must have been a very special order as even the interior is also remarkably inlaid,” Sandberg says.
Two compartments were for tea leaf storage, each probably holding a different type. These could have been blended in the mixing bowls with the caddy spoon that would have been stored in the small central lidded section.
Sandberg’s shop is on London’s Kensington High Street. He also exhibits at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair.