The tea caddy is decorated with fanciful chinoiserie figures in painted, champlevé enamel. On the sliding lid, a man smokes an opium pipe while playing dice with a pair of companions. Two pseudo-Chinese characters, slightly resembling the Chinese word for tea, are inscribed in blue on the upper corners. An enthroned imperial figure wearing a robe embroidered with phoenixes, as well as two more pseudo-Chinese characters, appear on the caddy’s front face. On the reverse, a figure holds a banner inscribed with the Russian surname “Fuchamskiy.” Above, appears the word “Chai” (Tea) and below, “Dushistiy” (Aromatic). Each end shows a single figure: one dancing while grasping a bottle and goblet, and the the other playing a mandolin.
1873. champlevé enamel.
H: 4 3/8 x W: 6 5/8 x D: 4 5/8 in. (11.1 x 16.8 x 11.8 cm)