Antique boxes and wood items are highly collectible. Antique boxes come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Tea caddies are a part of this catagory. In the 1700s and 1800s, tea was a valued possession and the ritual of serving tea was enjoyed by society in most English and some American homes. Tea was rare and special, thus tea boxes and tea caddies were made to reflect those qualities. Usually small, from several inches to no more than a foot wide, tea caddies were made not only to store tea, but to be displayed as things of value and beauty. Tea caddy designs can be quite elaborate, with the use of several different woods, metals, and inlays. Some of the earlier tea caddies were extremely small and made in whimsical designs, such as fruit. Because it was so valuable in the 1700s and 1800s, tea was usually stored in locking tea caddies or boxes. Very collectible tea caddies were still being made into the 1900s, but because tea was becoming more plentiful, some of these boxes were not made to be locked. Some antique caddies still have remnents of foil lining the tea compartments and their original mixing bowl. Alas, most mixing bowls were broken or separated from their caddies long ago.
Money boxes also come in many shapes and sizes. Most money boxes were made of wood and included a locking mechanism. However we have seen some money boxes that could only be opened by dismantling. Money box sizes vary from small personal boxes to very large collection boxes that were probably actually attached to a stationary surface such as a table or even mounted on a wall in a lodge hall or church.
Included here are also glove boxes. In the 1800s, glove boxes were a social necessity of ladies of wealth. Usually small and rectangular in shape, they appeared to be small treasures on the ladies vanity. Most were lined with silk and many can still be found with their original lining.