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Tea as decoration.

It is well known that tea in the form of bricks was used as currency in many countries, nurishment in others, and a beverage across the whole world. However, much less is known about tea as a home decoration.
The further from the region where the tea was harvested, the higher its value. And in further countries, where it didn’t have a certain exchange value, such as colonial America, it became decoration and a symbol of affluence. The colonials hung the tea tablets on their walls and placed them decoratively on their fireplaces, and should the need arise, all one had to do was scrape a bit of the brick off, put it into a teapot and the tea was ready.
The prestige of the tea decorations rose among the colonials after the famous revolt in Boston (which will covered later on). For now let us imagine the desperate American colonials tipped tea into the port at Boston, however, this was not exactly how it happened. "The Sones of Freedom", dressed as Mohawk Indians, smashed 342 crates of tea bricks imported from India and threw it into the sea. 
To ensure that the destruction was complete, they then proceeded to smash up the individual tea bricks with oars from their boats. But there were also others who fished the bricks out of the sea, and shortly they became displayed on walls and fireplaces in houses as a symbol of patriotism. Some souvenir companies even sell these bricks today, supposedly the original Boston tea bricks, suitably preserved.

The brick on the left is modern Chinese production made especially for display at a fireplace, the one on the right with the Inidan motif is a replica of the original ‘Boston Tea’

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© (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

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