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Keno Eye: Antique Tea Caddies

From the Editors of Traditional Home
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Antiques experts Leigh and Leslie Keno both prefer black tea (no milk), but don’t expect to find loose leaves stashed in the brothers’ antique tea caddies. Nor do the Antiques Roadshow duo display their treasure chests behind locked glass doors. Leslie and wife Emily keep a 19th-century burl walnut caddy within reach on a night table next to the bed. It’s stuffed with family memorabilia--decades-old letters from Mom and a long-expired passport with far-flung destination stamps. "I keep silver cuff links in a black lacquered and japanned sarcophagus-shaped caddy," notes Leslie.

"Caddies are a great way to conceal clutter--loose change,  keys, cell phones, or a Blackberry," chimes in brother Leigh, who admires how the boxes were made some 200 years ago. "The same techniques applied to furnituremaking."

By Doris Athineos
Produced by Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno
Photograph: Doug Todd