Sugar box

Paul de Lamerie British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 510

Decorated with whimsical scenes showing the harvesting of sugar cane, this box was probably part of a set that included containers for green and bohea (black) tea. Tea was an expensive commodity during the eighteenth century, and such canisters were often stored in a locked, fitted case made of mahogany or shagreen (shark skin). The scenes of exotically dressed sugar harvesters are surrounded by abstract organic ornament that suggests a grotesque face—a juxtaposition that is characteristic of Paul de Lamerie’s workshop.

#407. Teapots

Sugar box, Paul de Lamerie (British, 1688–1751, active 1712–51), Silver, British, London

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