A RARE tea chest which was imported from India in the late 18th or early 19th Century has been stolen during a burglary.

The chest was taken from a home in Brandsby, near Helmsley, on Tuesday night. It is about 4ft long and 2ft wide and stands on four square legs.

It is probably made of teak and is embossed with brass and copper, thought to be reused army medals.

Embossed in one corner are the initials VOC.

The value of the chest value is not known, but it is described as being very unusual and is likely to have been imported to Britain by the East India Company.

Anyone with information about its whereabouts is asked to call officers at Northallerton CID on (01609) 789452.