This tea caddy, an attractive item, was given to Margaret Fletcher (date of presentation unknown). A tea caddy in the 19th century was a valued object as tea was expensive and was bought in small quantities. The two side containers are for green and black tea and the middle one was for blending the tea mixtures. The caddy was lockable so that domestic workers etc could not have easy access to a valuable commodity. The local provenance of this object and the identity of Margaret Fletcher have not yet been established. She may be related to John Fletcher, the Warrnambool cordial maker or James Fletcher, the Warrnambool lawyer.
This tea caddy is of great interest as an attractive artefact from the 19th century and as an example of a household item no longer in use. It is also of interest because it was given to Margaret Fletcher, possibly a local Warrnambool person.
This is a polished wood container made in a casket style. The wood is believed to be Coramandel. The casket has curved sides and is on a base with four legs. The lid has a brass hinge and a gold lock with the key and the lock mechanism missing. Inside are three compartments, two with hinged lids with leather tops and zinc linings. The middle compartment has a glass container set in a wooden compartment. The inscription is on a brass plate inside the casket.
Inscriptions & markings
‘Presented to Margaret Fletcher as a Mark of Respect’.