The talk at the Historic Odessa Foundation's Corbit-Sharp House Wednesday, May 9 is part of the new exhibit “As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection."

Broadway show writer and director Mark Bramble will present his companion lecture to the exhibit “As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection,” Wednesday, May 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Historic Odessa Foundation’s Corbit-Sharp House.

The lecture is free to Historic Odessa Foundation members and $5 for general admission. The evening includes an opening reception and tour of the exhibit.

Reservations are requested by contacting Jennifer Cabell Kostik at 302-378-4119 or All proceeds benefit the Historic Odessa Foundation.

About Bramble and the collection

An author, theater director and producer, Bramble has penned many Broadway musicals including “Barnum” and the Tony Award Winning Best Musical “42nd Street.”

Traveling the world with his shows has provided Bramble with unique opportunities for collecting, which is the subject of his book “A Tea Caddy Collection” recently published by Schiffer Publishing, and available for purchase and signing during the reception and after the lecture May 9.

Selections from the Bramble collection of tea caddies are now on display at the Corbit-Sharp House and the Wilson-Warner House through Aug. 26.

The exhibit features more than 150 tea caddies from the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection was built over two generations and includes more than 400 examples, spanning the period from 1700 to the present.

Marnie Bramble of Chestertown, Maryland, started the collection more than half a century ago, and enjoined her youngest son Mark in her hobby. The superb craftsmanship and wonderful painting elevate these small containers to works of art that tell a vibrant history of a time when tea was as precious as gold.

On Dec. 25, 1773, the British tea ship Polly sailed up the Delaware River en route to Chester, Pennsylvania, carrying a cargo of 697 chests of tea consigned to the Philadelphia Quaker firm of James & Drinker. Only days earlier, on Dec. 16, the infamous Boston Tea Party took place, where three shiploads of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor, inspiring numerous other tea party events in the mid-Atlantic region protesting the tax on tea. A mass meeting of 8,000 Philadelphians, the largest crowd assembled in America up to that time, determined that “the tea shall not be landed” and, in the Quaker belief of non-violent protest, the Polly and her tea were sent back down the Delaware River into Delaware Bay and back to England. Tea was the focus of events leading directly to the Revolutionary War, and our concept of “taxation without representation.”

Tour hours and admission fees

The Historic Houses of Odessa, owned and operated by the Historic Odessa Foundation, are open to the public March through December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m., and Monday by reservation.

The Wilson-Warner House and the Corbit-Sharp House are both on Main Street (Route 299) in Odessa, just east of U.S. Route 13.

General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for group members, senior citizens and students, and free for children 6 and under. Discounts for members of the Historic Odessa Foundation are available.

For more information, see the website, or call 302-378-4119.