We had a peek at the world’s finest – and most secret – teaware collection, and you can see it for yourself on National Tea Day.
Back in 2011, the owner of Newby Teas, Nirmal Sethia, made it his mission to collect as many historic teawares as he could in order to record and preserve the tea cultures of the past. It’s safe to say he succeeded as, just seven years later, he has now acquired almost 1700 objects from all over the world. Spanning over a thousand years of history, the Chitra Collection, named after Sethia’s late wife, tells a lovely story of the importance of tea, and how it became such a staple for humans everywhere (as well as an unofficial cure for all of life’s problems).
The collection is hidden in a top secret London location (my lips are sealed), and has only ever been shown to the public on two previous occasions. The good news is, if you’re a sucker for shiny teapots, you can catch some of the collections most brewtiful items at a giant tea festival happening in a couple of weeks!
Leaving the confines of the hidden tea cave are a selection of the collection’s finest wares, including; a teapot that once belonged to Admiral Nelson, a teapot recovered from an ancient shipwreck in Porto, and a tea set designed by Tiffany & Co.’s artistic director, Edward C. Moore.
What sadly won’t be on display at the pop-up exhibition is the $3,000,000 (or £2,307,900) diamond-encrusted teapot that I caught sight of on my top secret tour – probably due to the high-risk that somebody would try and pinch it. It’s officially the world’s most valuable teapot but, with 1658 brilliant diamonds and 386 authentic Thai and Burmese rubies, we’re hardly surprised.