A case used by travellers and military officers to carry articles of silverware for eating and drinking.
It was a practice of English officers to travel with a canteen of silver to entertain in a proper fashion
and style when posted to distant parts of the English Empire. The oak box would have made a good companion
piece to the wooden campaign chests, desks, and beds with which they also traveled.
Later the term was extended to to a case for domestic use for storing silver flatware and cutlery and
a canteen is simply a set of tableware often with 12 place settings. A half-canteen has 6 place settings
and a double canteen has 24. There are other sizes and often any boxed set of silver tableware may be
properly labeled as a canteen.
Canteen in English translates simply to a ‘set’ in American.
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