Lerer, Jim & Cameron Lerer, Sarah – Tea
Story of the Box
By Jim and Sarah Cameron Lerer
The Chinese Exclusion Acts prohibited immigration into the United States from China from the 1860s until 1943. Toward the end of this period a Chinese-American man in San Francisco hired a local lawyer to secure a visa for his wife still in China. Despite the hurdle of the Exclusion Act, the lawyer succeeded.
Some time later, the extremely grateful client gave the lawyer a very large set of porcelain dinnerware in the classic “rose medallion” pattern in honor of his hard work and success. In addition to 12 place settings, there were many serving dishes including, in addition to platters and open and covered vegetable dishes, etc., a gravy boat and ladle, a salad bowl, demitasse (for 12, of course), salt and pepper shakers, and a tea set.
Many years later, as the lawyer’s children had to face what to do with this sentimental set, it was clear that none was able to take care of the whole thing, so each took some of the pieces to remember the story by.
One child took the tea set and a few other pieces, and as the time goes by, he, too, is paring down his belongings and so is passing these pieces along to the lucky bidder. He’s keeping the tea caddy, though.
Keeping with the tea theme, the box is covered with tea bags.