You turn my key; a rough edge scrapes my mother-of-pearl escutcheon. You run your index finger over the small abrasion. The spoon slips into the dark curled leaves, wrinkled and dry with the faint aroma of bergamot. They will not come alive without the scalding water from the kettle. It hums and purrs, poised to unfurl my treasured contents. A swirl of vapour rises from the delicate porcelain bowl – shipped from the east – leisurely emitting a perfume of pleasure. You close my shell inlay lid. I’m sealed shut protecting my valuable cargo. It is worth the rent of a dozen tenant farmers. Their farms came as part of your dowry. They bought you a title, a position. A life traded by your family. Debts paid, a succession secured, another treasure acquired. You set me back upon the small round table in the powder blue salon – this is our place. Secure within the impregnable walls of the estate your title purchased. Here the world will admire us now and down the line of time.