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Antique Tea Caddy Carved From Tree Shakespeare Planted Auctioned

535px-Cobbe_portrait_of_Shakespeare The Cobbe portrait, believed to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime.

Okay, not even in his comedies would Shakespeare write something that silly.  However, according to the Daily Mail:

A tea caddy carved from a mulberry tree may have been planted by Shakespeare himself has gone under the hammer for £13,000 at auction.

The antique - which features a tiny carved bust of The Bard - was whittled out of wood recovered from the famous tree planted outside the playwright's home.

It lay in a private collection for years but was finally passed on for a five-figure sum after it was sold off at Christie's auction house in London yesterday afternoon.

The immaculate caddy, dated 1760, is emblazoned with Shakespeare's coat of arms and contains three ornate sliding-lid compartments decorated with intricate mulberry fruit designs.

Reverend Francis Gastrell - who bought New Place in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, after Shakespeare's death - had the tree cut down in 1756 after he became fed up with visitors asking to see it.

He had planned to burn the tree but enterprising locals flocked to purchase the wood in order to create Shakespeare souvenirs - kick-starting the historic town's centuries-old tourist industry.

Woodworker George Cooper - whose signature is carved into the 6in high by 10.25in wide wood-and-metal box - created dozens of trinkets from the timber.

Good show! And that figure for a box designed to keep your tea in is something the Bard himself -- a money-minded entrepreneur --  would not have laughed about!