Examples of this model of caddy or canister (called a 'tea tub' at the time) appear between about 1765 and 1773, many with the maker's mark for Aaron Lestourgeon. Helen Clifford, in her book Silver in London: The Parker and Wakelin Partnership 1760-1776 (Yale University Press, 2004), reconstructs the fascinating system of outworkers who produced these caddies for Parker & Wakelin. The bodies were formed from sheet by Ansill and Gilbert or by Aldridge and Woodnorth for £1 8s. each, the former also supplying three sizes of sprig finial. Aaron and William Lestourgeon then fitted the locks and lined the interiors in lead for 5s. each. The borders and characters were subsequently engraved in Robert Clee's workshop, opposite Parker & Wakelin's shop in Panton Street, before delivery to the retailer. It would seem the process, from start to finish, took under three weeks. Apparently they were retailed by Parker & Wakelin for about £9. The same procedure would have been followed for the supply of these caddies to another leading goldsmiths of the day, Thomas Heming, who had been appointed Principal Goldsmith to the King in 1760.
Hallmarks clear to underside. The cover clearly part-marked. The finial apparently unmarked with the fastening screw probably a later replacement. The lock-plate to the inside-front of the box is missing. Probable erasure to front panel. Bruising to bottom corners. Fine surface scratches throughout. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."