1. A posh silver teapot, from 1744-5
Tea drinking became popular in England in the second half of the seventeenth century and was all the rage amongst the middle classes. In fact, Dr Samuel Johnson publicly declared himself to be a ‘hardened tea drinker… whose kettle scarcely has time to cool’. Having a silver teapot such as the one above was a mark of status and wealth, indicating how highly prized the humble brew was at the time. Due to the high price and heavy taxing of this luxury good, tea leaves were often locked away to stop servants (and dodgy guests) from pinching them. As prices lowered and tea became an accessible drink for all classes it was not uncommon for some of a servant’s wages to be paid in tea.