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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 6 years 4 months ago #24542

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Hi Everyone and Happy New Year.

I have very recently come across this framed memento of the Siege of Kimberley and wondered if any of you could provide a bit of info on its origin.

Mounted in the centre is a Queen's chocolate tin in very good condition (Cadbury's in this case). The pictorial background includes photos of Rhodes, Roberts, French, Kekewich and the Mayor of Kimberley (Oliver).

One source I have found indicates that these were sold as souvenirs at the time and another mentions that they were given to senior officers as a gift by Rhodes?

An interesting item and I am keen to find out more.
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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 6 years 4 months ago #24544

  • QSAMIKE
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Hello Celtic Collector......

First Welcome to the forum......

What you have is a QUEEN'S CHOCOLATE TIN, there are several threads here that you can see.....

www.angloboerwar.com/forum/19-ephemera/5...ocolate-tin?start=30

and

www.angloboerwar.com/forum/13-miscellany...r-chocolate-tins#192

Maybe this will help......

Sorry it does not have anything to do with Rhodes and Kimberly...... But nice frame job......


Queen Victoria's Chocolate Gifts for her Men at War

In 1899, British soldiers and sailors were in South Africa, fighting the second Boer War1 which lasted from October, 1899 to May, 1902. Queen Victoria was concerned about the morale of her army and navy and wanted to do something to lift their spirits. She had heard that officers had gained much pleasure in receiving gifts from home so she decided she would send chocolate, a luxury item to the majority of people in those days. She would send chocolate to all of her army and navy serving in South Africa (including Australian contingents) as a Christmas/New Year gift in 1899/1900.

Joining Forces

The chocolate manufacturer, Cadbury, which since around 1854 had a Royal Warrant to supply Queen Victoria with cocoa and chocolate, was contacted and requested to produce the royal bars of chocolate, each in its own individual tin. This put Richard and George Cadbury in a dilemma because as Quakers they were pacifists and did not agree with the war. However, they did not want to refuse a request from the Queen. To prevent their confectionery rivals from accusing them of going against their principles, Richard and George's solution was to invite fellow Quakers, Joseph Storrs Fry 2 and Joseph Rowntree in a temporary three-way partnership to complete the order.

The Tins

Forty thousand tins, designed and made by Fry, were produced in two different sizes. The larger of the two tins is 15 x 9cm (6 x 3½ inches) and it has a gold-coloured rim around the edge of the lid; this contained two layers of chocolate. The slightly smaller or rather thinner tin, which measures 16 x 8cms (6¼ x 3¼ inches) has a blue rim around the edge of the lid, and contained one layer of chocolate. The design on the lid of both sizes is the same; in the middle of the red lid of the tin is a gold-coloured embossed picture of Queen Victoria's head. To the left is Queen Victoria's insignia, and to the right are the words South Africa 1900 and is inscribed 'I wish you a happy New Year' and signed 'Victoria' running along the bottom.

It was decided, by all three companies, that the tins would carry no brand name. However, Queen Victoria was not amused about this decision; she wanted her army and navy to know that she was sending them quality British chocolate. As a compromise, the Cadbury name appeared on interior packaging of the chocolate. The tins remained unbranded.

It can be assumed that the soldiers and sailors appreciated their gifts, some of which were saved, often complete with the chocolate bar as a souvenir, or as a gift for their mother, wife or girlfriend.

Tin Full of Mementoes

The empty tins had a more sombre use for the men who died in battle: the tins, containing their few personal belongings, were sent home to the fallen soldier's or sailor's family.

The tins were not big enough to hold much, depending on which size the tin was used. They may have included items such as medals, talisman, coins, jewellery, photos, documents or letters and the soldier's identity disc, also known as a 'dog tag', which was first used in the Second Boer War.

Collector's Item

The tins have become collectable items. While some have been kept in the family, as treasured items, other are sold at boot sales, antique shops and fairs, and quite regularly on eBay. The monetary value of the tins is dependent on their general condition, and whether or not they contain the original chocolate. The smaller of the tins, with the blue rim around the tin, are said to be scarcer, and are therefore more valuable than the larger version.

Some of the tins are displayed in museums, particularly those specialising in Second Boer War memorabilia.



Mike
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O.M.R.S. 1591

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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 6 years 4 months ago #24550

  • QSAMIKE
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I forgot to mention......

There is also a booklet on the subject that shows up on ebay occasionally called:

The Story of the Queen's Chocolate Tin by Lenaid Kebar, Copyright 1997

Mike
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Military Historical Society
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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 6 years 4 months ago #24566

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Hi Mike,

Thanks very much for your reply and the information provided.

I do in fact have a copy of Lenaid Kabar's book which is very informative.

My main interest is collecting boer war related tins. This obviously includes the Queens Christmas chocolate tins made by Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry. I have a few of them already and am always on the look out for better examples, tins with original contents and those with some particular provenance. I do also have one of the tobacco tins given to Scottish soldiers and hope to one day find one of the seemingly scarce tins given to members of the Devon regiment.

As far as the framed Queens chocolate tin is concerned, I have seen another two examples in varying condition. This makes me think that they must have been commercially produced with some particular purpose at some stage, i.e. it is not a "once off" framing by some individual. I have also seen an example which has the same Siege of Kimberley background but where the mounted tin is replaced with a photograph of the Long Tom gun.

Maybe some forum member has some additional information?

Tim

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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 6 years 4 months ago #24574

  • QSAMIKE
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Good Morning Tim and Happy New Year.....

The way that I read your original post is that the WHOLE item including the tin was a gift from Rhodes or sold...... Not just the framed background...... I have seen a number framed also and in fact there is a very poorly done one on ebay right now.......

Will keep my eyes open for a Devonshire for you.....


Mike

Celtic Collector wrote: Hi Mike,

Thanks very much for your reply and the information provided.

I do in fact have a copy of Lenaid Kabar's book which is very informative.

My main interest is collecting boer war related tins. This obviously includes the Queens Christmas chocolate tins made by Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry. I have a few of them already and am always on the look out for better examples, tins with original contents and those with some particular provenance. I do also have one of the tobacco tins given to Scottish soldiers and hope to one day find one of the seemingly scarce tins given to members of the Devon regiment.

As far as the framed Queens chocolate tin is concerned, I have seen another two examples in varying condition. This makes me think that they must have been commercially produced with some particular purpose at some stage, i.e. it is not a "once off" framing by some individual. I have also seen an example which has the same Siege of Kimberley background but where the mounted tin is replaced with a photograph of the Long Tom gun.

Maybe some forum member has some additional information?

Tim

Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Siege of Kimberley framed chocolate tin 1 month 2 days ago #76003

  • General Gordon 1948
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Hello All,
Just thought I would give my observations regarding the "Queen Victoria's Chocolate tin". I have been asked by several people how you can tell which manufacture had made a particular tin.
My own observations are as follows.

The smaller of the three tins were manufactured by Hudson Scott and Sons Ltd for George Cadbury, from the attached photograph it can be seen that the impressed likeness of the Queen is close to the edge of the tin.

The remaining two tins are the same size as each other but do have a couple of dissimilarities .
The Rowntree tins were manufactured by Barringer, Wallis and Manners Ltd of Mansfield. The identifying differences are that the blue border is a dark Prussian Blue and the signature of the Queen in the bottom right hand corner is askew to the edge of the tin.

The Fry's tins were manufactured by Barclay and Fry ltd, these can be identified by the blue border being a "Lighter Cerulean blue" and the signature of the Queen in the bottom right hand corner is parallel to the edge of the tin.
Total production of the tins were as follows George Cadbury 40,000, Rowntree 40,000 and Fry's 43,000.
In the attached photographs I have included the front of each tin and the contents showing the impressed name of the manufacturer, also a rare piece of the ribbon which was tied around the Rowntree tins.
And as a side a gift tag which came in my Rowntree tin purporting to be from the Queen but if have never been able to find ant reference.
I would be grateful if anyone has anything to add
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rob D, Moranthorse1

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