Thursday, 2 June 2011

Object of the Month - June 2011

This month's Object of the Month comes from my own meagre collection of artefacts. It is fairly common, but has some interesting features worth mentioning.

During the Boer War, Queen Victoria decided to send a gift of chocolate to her troops serving in South Africa, as a way of raising their morale after what had so far been a disappointing campaign.

The tins of chocolate were made by Fry's, Rowntree's and Cadbury's - all three manufacturers were Quakers and therefore pacifists - they opposed the war but did not want to be seen to refuse a request from the Queen so in order to complete the order they formed a temporary partnership.

If you own one of these tins, it is possible to work out which company produced yours - this page has a useful comparison of the different subtle variations. From that site I can easily work out that my tin was produced by Rowntree's.

Many of the tins were sent home as souvenirs - this is perhaps the reason why you can still find them today.

Some men sent the complete tin home, although many other ates the chocolate first. To find an example with the chocolate still inside it today is rare.

My tin has long since had its chocolate eaten - and not by me! Even my sweet tooth would have been reluctant to bite down on 100 year old chocolate.

So while our object this month isn't particularly rare (you can find them for auction on Ebay regularly) or unusual, it's an interesting insight into a bygone age.

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