An old biscuit tin discovered at a free valuation event in Nottinghamshire has smashed its estimate at auction to sell for thousands of pounds – much to the amazement of its owners
Initially, a guide price of £1,000-£1,500 was placed on the 90-year-old object - an estimate which left its Nottingham owners ‘gobsmacked’ - but it ended up selling for more.
The Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin, which was made in 1929 and doubles up as a clockwork double decker motor bus, exceeded expectations at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers. (on Nov 19) It sold to a private UK buyer for a hammer price of £2,500. The total price paid with buyer’s premium was £3,100.
The owners, a retired couple wish to remain anonymous, were stunned by the result. One of them said: “It’s truly amazing. We’re surprised and delighted by the price it sold for. To say we were absolutely gobsmacked when we first found out it could be worth £1,000 to £1,500 is the understatement of the year – and it sold for even more.
“We just took it along to a free valuation event with a couple of other items to find out a bit more about it. I’ve kept it in a cupboard for 25 years. It’s come out of its box a couple of times. I inherited it from my mum and she got it from her cousin who used to run a corner shop in the Doncaster area a long time ago. It was found in a cupboard at the shop.
“We came across it again when we moved house. You put things away and just forget about them.”
Striking in red and cream, the bus features pictures of 1920s passengers together with the bus driver and a Huntley & Palmers advert for Breakfast Biscuits. The roof of the bus opens to reveal the biscuit tin, which even boasts its original cardboard box.
It was discovered by Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, at a valuation event in aid of the NSPCC at the Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, East Bridgford, Notts, in October.
Charles said: “I knew it was extra special and I’m delighted for the sellers. Thanks to its rarity, the value of this biscuit tin was never going to crumble when it went under the hammer.
“The ingenuity of Huntley & Palmers designs has made their biscuit tins as highly prized as the products they contain. Now they are collectors’ items. From miniature replicas of vehicles to tins that could be re-used as household objects, the firm came up with ways to make their biscuit tins extra special.”
The biscuit tin sold on November 19 at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS.
Hansons holds free antique valuation events in Nottinghamshire and will be at Newark Civil Centre, 14 Appleton Gate, Newark, NG24 1JY, on December 3, 10am-1pm. Free general valuations are also available at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, on Wednesdays, 5-7pm, Fridays, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays, 9am-noon. Alternatively, email [email protected]