Prime fruit ought to be scarce and dear, picked careful, and kept in the punnet.
Your gardener said to me this morning: 'I'll pick a "punnet" of strawberries to-day.'
Forty or fifty years ago a punnet or two of the attractive vivid scarlet fruit might be seen in season at Covent Garden Market.
Incidentally he alluded quite familiarly to men with military titles, and once even to someone with a title, a Lady punnet.
"small, round chip basket," 1822, chiefly British, of obscure origin.