Style In Furniture

at the bare idea of any particle being relegated to the care of anyone but herself or the most trusted lieutenant To keep the tea in the kitchen would have been regarded as a sacrilege, and such an idea was never entertained. On the contrary, it was accorded a place of honour, under lock and key be it noted, in the dining-room, its resting-place generally being the chief position on the top of the sideboard, an article with regard to which I shall have something to say presently.

As we are all aware, the Dutch did not initiate us into the mysteries of tea-making and drinking until the year 1660, and it was not until fully thirty years later that the fragrant beverage became in any way common. For a long period, indeed, its enjoyment was restricted to the few by reason of expense ; and even in the days of Heppelwhite it was a costly article. Under these circumstances it was essential to provide a proper receptacle, a worthy " setting/' so to speak, for this treasure; hence arose the gracefully shaped and tastefully decorated tea caddy of mahogany and satinwood, painted, and inlaid with all manner of rare veneers.

Considerable attention was devoted to their design. The earlier caddies were often of soft wood, lacquered in black and gold, and not infrequently covered with the most elaborate diapers and "powdering" ; but those with which we are now concerned were, as I have indicated, generally made either of mahogany, inlaid with satinwood or canary-wood and other coloured marquetry, or of satinwood itself, delicately painted or inlaid, after the manner indicated by the illustrations to which I have referred. In addition to serving faithfully a most important utilitarian purpose, they were, in themselves, oftentimes actually things of beauty ; and, in conjunction with the knife-cases by which they were usually "supported" on either side,' went far to enhance the general effect of the old sideboards whereon they were placed, and of which they seemed to constitute an essential feature. But they have gone, I suppose

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Reference in Text

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