The Royall Tea Caddy

Dr. William Bailey Royall
This mahogany-veneered tea caddy, with two tin-lined pigeon holes and cut-crystal bowl (added later), comes to us from the family of Wake Forest College Professor William Bailey Royall, and dates to the late 19th century.

Donated by descendant Margaret McClure, the tea caddy– or teabox– was once a common part of everyday life. An elegant accessory, the caddy was essentially a small cabinet designed to keep dried tea leaves fresh and safe prior to use.

This particular artifact is outfitted with a pair of removable canisters flanking the central mixing bowl. As the box can be attributed to the Royall family, there is a strong likelihood it has a historic link to the Town of Wake Forest. For that reason, it will soon appear among the period furnishings of the dining room or parlor in the restored Calvin Jones House.

A resident of N. Main Street (then Faculty Avenue), William Bailey Royall was among the college’s most notable instructors. As professor of Greek, he taught at Wake Forest College through the latter half of the 1800s and past the turn of the century, finally retiring in the early 1900s after a career spanning nearly sixty years.

The tea caddy was passed down by his granddaughter, Peggy Royall Hinck, who often traveled from her home in New Jersey to visit her aging grandfather during the last years of his life.

Dr. Royall remains the longest serving Wake Forest faculty member to date.

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