Though I've had this old Sheffield silver plate and ebony tea pot for about a year now, today was its first time for tea. When I found it at the flea market it was black and yellow-orange. At first I thought the silver had been worn away. Not so. The yellow-orange was nicotine. Lifting the lid, I saw that the pot had never been used. How strange! It must have sat on a shelf while someone smoked away for years. A steal for twenty bucks, I brought it home and started cleaning it up. There is still more to do if you look closely at the hard to reach ridges that are canyons of darkness. But goodness! They knew what they were doing when they made these pots: the tea stays hot for a very long time. The tea for its maiden voyage? Darjeeling with cherry tarts from Soutine.