What's It Worth? Totally Tea for Teetotalers

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“Tea is better than wine for it leadeth not to intoxication, neither does it cause a man to say foolish things and repent thereof in his sober moments. It is better than water for it does not carry disease; neither does it act like poison as water does when it contains foul and rotten matter.”

According to EconomicHistory.com, this ancient Chinese saying spread through Europe as tea displaced beer in

Britain and the Netherlands, when both countries were fighting the scourge of alcoholism with tea as the perfect alternative. The article notes that a tradesman’s family in 1749 spent only three shillings a week for bread but four shillings on tea. At the time, tea was too expensive to become the common man’s drink, so it was kept hidden away. A scant 30 years later, we even had a little ‘kerfuffle’ about tea in the Boston Harbor!

So vessels for holding tea became in vogue and often were made of sterling silver. Today the tea caddy is very collectible, as is the tea caddy spoon.

Here are some examples of a few sterling silver tea caddies we have in our St. Pete office this week (and another reminder that when you sell your silver and gold ... not everything should be thrown on a scale).

Tea caddies and tea caddy spoons are always worth at least 10 percent over silver, up to 3 times their silver value. And fancy tea caddy spoons, like the Tiffany and Co. spoon shown here, are worth up to $100 per ounce.

You have seen us in Forbes Magazine, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Two former Sothebys.com associates on staff.

Always buying diamonds, fine wristwatches, pocket watches and expensive jewelry. Gold is high; sell NOW!

Mail in your items (we can send you an envelope/package to send in your goods), we will call you for a consultation when we receive your package. We can deposit money into your account.

House calls? Yes — we can meet you at our store, your home, or your attorney’s office.

No estate too small or too large.

Stop in or call 727.896.0622 for an appointment.

Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.

Hess Fine Art - Fine Art, Auction, Watch and Antique Experts Since 1984

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