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Tea caddy




4 7/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 1 1/2 in


Porcelain, enamels, silver fused on copper (lid).

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



"MCC / 1780” is engraved in script across the top of the lid.

Condition Notes

The body broke into several pieces and has been glued together in careful alignment. The replaced cap is discussed below.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


This broken and repaired porcelain tea caddy with a later, replacement lid embodies much of the history of the preservation of Corbit and Wilson furnishings that survive today at Historic Odessa.  First, it was repaired rather than discarded when it broke into many pieces.  Second, it has a fused silver lid of the approximate age--although likely at least a few years later--of the caddy.  Third, the lid is engaved with "MCC / 1780,” initials for Mary Cowgill Corbit, who became William Corbit’s fourth wife.  Careful inspection of the engraving shows that the date 1780 was added later, since the numbers cover some of the engraved serifs of the initials, and the numbers are engraved thicker and coarser than the letters.  Moreover, the 1780 date is inaccurate.  Mary turned 21 in 1780, but she did not have three names until she was married in 1791.  Comparisons to many other objects in the Historic Odessa collections establish that Mrs. Warner, who established The David Wilson Mansion, Inc., was responsible for the later addition.  More important, she was responsible for gathering and preserving this caddy and hundreds of other family objects that now form the backbone of the collection.  Thus, this caddy reverberates with meaning.


Raley, “Restoration," 67, 69.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 229.