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Keno Eye: Antique Tea Caddies

From the Editors of Traditional Home
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An English caddy holds Keno keepsakes.

Tea chests came to be called caddies from the Malay word kati, a measure of weight for tea--approximately 1.3 pounds. Boxes were designed with this amount in mind, and foil-lined, lidded compartments provided room for both black and green teas and sometimes included an extra compartment for sugar.

A dazzling, decorative box is affordable if "original condition" isn’t your cup of tea and you don’t mind replaced handles or a lost key. The price should reflect repairs, and all reconditioning should be recorded on the sales receipt.

Photograph: Doug Todd