Actual tea from the Boston Tea Party survives, sells. A small sample of tea leaves from the Boston Tea Party, collected December 17, 1773, sold recently at Heritage Auctions. The tea was collected on the shore the morning after the destruction of the cargoes by the Sons of Liberty, then preserved in a small bottle. It sold for $87,500, the top seller at the auction. The astonishing item was accompanied by extensive provenance of compiled information and documentation on the efforts to preserve these tea leaves through the centuries.

tea leaves from boston tea party collected December 17 1773

Tea leaves from the Boston Tea Party, December 1773.
Photo: Heritage Auctions


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