This specific tea box was used to transport varieties of tea leaves overseas. The type of tea box shown is specific because it’s wooden, and that represents tradition, strength, and they help maintain the contents inside the box. The artifact was transported by steamship from China to Maine around the year 1900. While a common item in China’s everyday life, this was very representative of the style, art, and culture of Chinese society. These types of teas boxes could hold between 42 and 58 kilograms of tea, with many separate compartments within the box designed to hold different tea varieties used for different occasions.

Credit: Charles Moriarty