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Phyllis de Fano’s tea pot collection

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    Phyllis De Fano of Portland has a smaller teapot collection – just 20 pieces – but they each have special meaning.

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    De Fano’s calls this whimsical rabbit teapot one her “smile pots.”

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    This pot has a little shelf inside where the loose tea or tea bag goes, above the water.

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    One of De Fano’s sets of teapots. She has been building her collection for 50 years. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)

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    De Fano found this duck at the Joyce Chen market in Cambridge, Mass. She likes the simple coloration and the stylized look of the bird.

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    Phyllis De Fano, 73, doesn't consider herself a collector but chooses her pieces for age, color and the meaning behind them.

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    This tea set features unusual handles on the teapot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher.

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    One of the tea pots in Phyllis De Fano’s collection.

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    This ceramic pot has fine painted details enhanced by the black base color.

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