Sayers Family Gallery
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Title: Painted Tea Caddy
Identifier: 2005.4.171.1
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1830-1870
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Decorated, rectangular, wooden box with inserts for storing and blending tea leaves. The hinged lid is 2.6 cm deep and made of approx. 1 cm thick pieces. The veneer top surface has triple inlay border and a painted design of a Roman/Grecian woman (dark hair, pink gown) seated in a chariot borne on a cloud by Cupid. The lady is attended by five additional cherubs. All are facing proper right. There are two white doves at the at the lower proper right. The main design is surrounded (except at top centre) by a wide border of a branch and leaf motif. The side and back panels of the lid are decorated with leaves, flowers and ribbons; the front panel with leaves and flowers. The under surface of the lid has leaves, flowers and a ribbon bow from which hangs a pearl framed cameo silhouette of a lady with scarf-type headdress on a red ground. The front panel of the caddy is decorated with leafy garlands held by two cherubs facing a central urn with wheat-like stalks. The end panels have vases with flowers and leaves, with two large curlicues. The back panel has a pendant watch? with additional drop jewels, on a rope of jewels held by two stylized long-necked birds. Also leafy garlands and jewel-centred flowers. The underside has remnants of a burlap pad. The interior is divided into three sections for a tea box at each end, and a blending bowl in the centre. The centre section has a removable round-opening frame at the top. It has a black velveteen-type fabric lining and curved corners with wooden supports. At the bottom there is a loose black wooden rag (paint stained) folded to act as a pad under the blending vessel. The top 2cm portion of the left (proper) panel between the centre and left (proper) sections is removable, to allow easy removal of the left (proper) tea box. Three portions of broken-off veneer are in the bowl in the centre compartment. History: Barbara Larson remembers that this tea caddy sat on Na's desk when it was in the drawing room, right of the fire place. Items donated by Barbara Sayers Larson. Barbara Larson is the daughter of Annie Harris (1882-1986) and Beverly Sayers (1883-1976) and granddaughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary (1859-1954) Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) and Dora Sayers Caro (1915-2004) donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in a log cabin originally given to her mother by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. She still maintains a close tie with Benares and is now living in Kelowna, British Columbia, with her daughter.
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Related Links:
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)