They came from a single-owner collection, said Alan Blakeman of the specialist advertising and bottles firm, which was “now overseas, painstakingly put together over several decades, and primarily sourced from specialist dealers.
“They were picked up from a motorway services near Heathrow airport by the BBR team on their way to a Wiltshire antiques fair (bit of a diversion) and excitedly unwrapped & inspected on arrival at the hotel!”
Such tins have obvious crossover collecting appeal for advertising and toys fans.
They were produced not by toy makers but various sheet metal companies specialising in the production of decorative metal boxes. As well as colourful promotion qualities, the tins of course had to be also airtight and practical so the biscuits could be delivered fresh and unbroken.
The tins on offer on May 28 in Elsecar as part of an Antique Advertising & Breweriana sale included a Huntley & Palmers Breakfast Biscuits van from the 1930s which came boxed. The brand was Tribrek produced from 1934-43.
It sold for £4300.
Most familiar name
The firm features as the most familiar name in biscuit tins, with the most collectable Huntley & Palmers tins dating from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s.
The slightly later Tribrek tin has long been popular. One offered at Bonhams in 2003 (possibly even the same one as at BBR) in excellent condition and complete with its original box, from 1937, made £2300.
Another BBR highlight at £3100 was a Crawfords Biscuit Bus, while a Crumpsall Cream Crackers Dennis van realised £3000.
A Huntley & Palmers tin sold for £2400 took a very different form to vehicles but one appropriate for the brand: Perambulator Biscuits.
Made in 1930, it has four moving wheels and depicts a chuckling blanketed child holding a teddy in a period and stylish pram.
Bamfords (24.75% buyer’s premium) offered an extensive range of toys and collectables over two days of sales.
It kicked off with a single-owner array of dolls from the Gilchrist Collection on June 19 and day later it was the turn of the The Toy, Juvenalia, Advertising and Collectors Auction including Comic Books and Sporting Memorabilia.
Advertising was one of the collecting fields covered on the second day.
Shown here is a McCormick Oven-kist Biscuits novelty tinplate biscuit tin in the form of a delivery van, manufactured by Banner, Wallis and Manner of Mansfield. Guided at £300- 500, it went for £700 in the Derbyshire auction.