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Pewter Tea Caddy

by Kalvins » Jun 2nd 12 11:00 am

Here's a recent buy, Pewter tea caddy handmade by Pewter Gallery New Life Style. With 4 Dragon Kings on the sides. Any ideas where they are based? is it good for storage? or is it just a decorative piece?.
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Jun 6th 12 2:42 am
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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by tingjunkie » Jun 6th 12 2:42 am

In general pewter is highly regarded for tea storage. Whether it's long term storage or short term would depend on your climate, what tea you're storing, and how tight the lid fit is.

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by Kalvins » Jun 7th 12 12:40 am

tingjunkie wrote:In general pewter is highly regarded for tea storage. Whether it's long term storage or short term would depend on your climate, what tea you're storing, and how tight the lid fit is.
Thank you for the information. The caddy is very beatiful to the eye and is hand carved with the dragons, the lid fits like a glove and I can hear the suction when I lift the lid off. It seems to be very well made. I will be storing Oolong Tea, mainly TGY or Milky short term.

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by MarshalN » Jun 7th 12 2:06 am

Kalvins wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:In general pewter is highly regarded for tea storage. Whether it's long term storage or short term would depend on your climate, what tea you're storing, and how tight the lid fit is.
Thank you for the information. The caddy is very beatiful to the eye and is hand carved with the dragons, the lid fits like a glove and I can hear the suction when I lift the lid off. It seems to be very well made. I will be storing Oolong Tea, mainly TGY or Milky short term.
Hand carved? I highly doubt it...

Jun 7th 12 4:46 am
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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by Kalvins » Jun 7th 12 4:46 am

marshaln wrote:Hand carved? I highly doubt it...
Maybe not, but who cares, It's still stunning :D

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by Tead Off » Jun 7th 12 9:42 am

Kalvins wrote:
marshaln wrote:Hand carved? I highly doubt it...
Maybe not, but who cares, It's still stunning :D
It looks very good and the way you describe it is the way a good pewter caddy should feel, like a glove. Can you tell us the price and size of this?

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by JBaymore » Jun 9th 12 11:04 pm

I did a search trying to find that business..... no joy.

remember that traditional pewter is composed of an alloy of antimony, LEAD, and tin. So if that is a lead bearing item...... I'd personally think twice before storing any food stuff in it.

Contemporary pewter CAN be lead free. Doesn't HAVE to be though.

best,

.....................john

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by blairswhitaker » Jun 9th 12 11:08 pm

JBaymore wrote:I did a search trying to find that business..... no joy.

remember that traditional pewter is composed of an alloy of antimony, LEAD, and tin. So if that is a lead bearing item...... I'd personally think twice before storing any food stuff in it.

Contemporary pewter CAN be lead free. Doesn't HAVE to be though.

best,

.....................john
Funny you said that I was just thinking the first thing I would do is get a lead test kit and check it before even handling it very much.

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by Chip » Jun 10th 12 12:57 am

Still, dragons and canisters are a soft spot for me, and this one is quite ... handsome.

Though I suspect I would always just admire this one, and it would likely not see any action.

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by BioHorn » Jun 10th 12 1:58 am

Is storing tea in lead pewter (antimony) even a problem?

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by wyardley » Jun 10th 12 3:59 am

My understanding is that in Western countries, lead in pewter is extremely uncommon for the last 100 years or so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pewter#Types

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by JBaymore » Jun 10th 12 2:51 pm

BioHorn wrote:Is storing tea in lead pewter (antimony) even a problem?
Don't KNOW for sure. Basic knowledge of toxicology and how lead materials behave lead me to suspect that IF lead is present in the pewter alloy, it could be an issue.

Items that contain lead compounds can have oxidation of the lead occur on the surface (that is exposed to atmospherice oxygen) forming a very thin film of white lead oxide as an almost imperceptible fine white powder. The white powder will come off of the surface; it is not bound there in any way. So handling the piece can get lead onto the skin or storing food stuff in it can pick up the powder.

This is true of lead glazed ceramics also.

Acute doses of lead are truly very rare..... it is chronic low level exposures from multiple sources (known as Total Body Burden) that usually cause any health issues.

best,

....................john

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by BioHorn » Jun 10th 12 4:06 pm

Thank you John and Will both for your replies. I have purchased a couple of caddies. They are probably not pre-1900. If anyone knows of the metal components in the alloy of Hong Kong fabricated caddies, please chime in.

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by wyardley » Jun 11th 12 2:28 am

I have some old caddies from HK and China, but haven't tested any of them yet (keep meaning to). I would invest in some lead test strips and check if it's a concern.

I agree that when storing dry tea in a canister, it's probably not a huge risk, provided they're not within reach of kids (on top of that, lead is a great insulator of air / light).

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Re: Pewter Tea Caddy

by BioHorn » Jun 11th 12 9:12 pm

Will,
How long have you had tea in them? Do you sense they work better than other storage methods? I plan to put some Wuyi in some to age next month. The one I have seems pretty airtight.