That takes the biscuit... Collectible tins go under the hammer

Bamfords auctioneers are holding a sale of tins and advertising signs which date back into the 19th century and will be of enormous interest to collectors and historians.

The tins were made for a variety of food and drink, or simply money. In some cases they giveaway differing attitudes from the time they were made, especially in the case of some politically incorrect pieces, such as the Little Jo money box, in which a grinning black man collects the money on his tongue.

Politically incorrect money tin
Politically incorrect 'Little Jo' money box

One lot offers a whole series of money boxes: a novelty tin money box in the form of a lighthouse, another as a half timber cottage, one as an electric cooker and one, alarmingly, as a bullet, created during the First World War.

Particularly intriguing to children's book collectors will be a rare Victorian rounded rectangular biscuit tin, depicting scenes from Alice In Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass (illustrated by John Tenniel) dating from around 1890, which are individually titled:

Alice Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty Offering his Hand to Alice, The White Knight Sliding Down the Poker, The Red King Asleep, The Battle Between the Red and White Knights, Alice, The White King and The Messenger, Alice and the Fawn, Alice and The Red Queen and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Alice in Wonderland Biscuit Tin
Alice in Wonderland Biscuit Tin

Lewis Carroll was apparently shocked to discover that advertising had been added inside the lid, and declared that it had been "vulgarised".

Bamfords' sales will take place in Derby, UK this Friday, August 5. Currently no prices are listed with the individual lots, but the auctioneers estimates are that in total the sale will raise £100,000, thanks to some particular rarities.


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