While vintage biscuit tins had a real purpose and function, keeping biscuits fresh and crisp, many are also very pretty or quirky, and are highly collectible. From Cadburys to Carr, there is a huge range of vintage biscuit tins to choose from, with designs ranging from quaint English cottages, to novelty tins, or fashion items. Knowing what to look for when buying vintage is crucial, whether you want just one pretty tin or want to build a comprehensive collection.
Vintage Biscuit Tin Manufacturer and Model
Some collectors simply choose any vintage biscuit tin that catches their eye, while others prefer to collect tins from a specific manufacturer or period. Some prefer to collect a particular theme, such as vintage cottage biscuit tins, like the Tudor-style cottage biscuit tin from Huntley, Boorne, and Stevens, dating from 1925. Biscuit manufacturers quickly realised that the more attractive or novel the tin, the higher the sales. Therefore, you can find vintage biscuit tins from as early as the mid-1800s. Among the most popular biscuit tin manufacturers are Cadburys, Huntley and Palmers, Carr, McVities, M and S, Wallis, and Manners, and Huntley, Boorne, and Stevens. The 1902 Arcadian from Huntley and Palmer is a very popular model, with stunning decoration and a delicate handle that many collectors prize.
Vintage Biscuit Tin Condition
The condition of a vintage biscuit tin is important for most collectors. Check for signs of rust and corrosion on both the interior and the exterior. Pay particular attention to the base, the lip of the lid, and the internal corners. Examine the tin for scratches and dents as these not only devalue the tin but also mar the beauty of the piece and encourage corrosion to set in. Whether you want the medieval iron chest from Huntley and Palmers or the highly desirable McVitie and Price Beatrix Potter tin, it needs to be in the best possible condition, with limited signs of wear and tear.
Caring for Vintage Biscuit Tins
Vintage biscuit tins only need light care. Avoid using any harsh chemicals such as bleach or kitchen cleaner, and never use abrasive scrubbers. The easiest and most efficient method is to wash the tin in warm, soapy water with a soft cloth that will not scratch the surface. Once thoroughly clean, dry it completely with a soft cloth. Do not leave any trace of moisture in the tin or it will rust.