Sussex

Biscuit tin collection on show at Brighton museum

Macfarlane Lang toy lorry biscuit tin Image copyright Sarah Leather Collection
Image caption The Macfarlane Lang toy lorry biscuit tin was made in about 1910 and is marked with a royal crest

A collection of antique and vintage biscuit tins has gone on show at a Brighton museum.

The tins, some more than 100-years-old, have been loaned to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum.

The collection gathered by Sarah Leather is "absolutely unique", Chris Littledale, the museums's founder, said.

The tins were manufactured for the biscuit companies and designed to be re-used as toys.

Image copyright Sarah Leather Collection
Image caption The House of Knowledge money-box biscuit tin was made for Crawfords in about 1920

Mr Littledale said: "They are made of printed tin plate. They were made in thousands but were quite delicate. Give them to a six-year-old and you'd be lucky if they lasted a week.

"This collection is unique. The V&A [Victoria and Albert Museum] has a biscuit tin collection, but there are lots in this one that they don't have."

Image copyright Sarah Leather Collection
Image caption A lithographed tinplate circus elephant floor toy biscuit tin on wheels was made for Crumpshall's Biscuits

Sarah Leather started her collection in the mid 1990s and this is the first time the collection has been on public display since her death, the museum said.

The collection includes locomotives, lorries, houses, toadstools and an Alice in Wonderland tea caddy.

Image copyright Sarah Leather collection
Image caption The London omnibus was part of a set of six, introduced between 1927 and 1925

The 1920s red double-decker London omnibus "has tremendous charm. It's worth way over £1,000," Mr Littledale said.

The banner along the side of the bus includes the names of various biscuits manufactured by Huntley and Palmer.

Image caption The Crawfords biplane biscuit tin has wings that can be rotated so it fits into its box

"These tins capture the joy children have in both biscuits and toys reflecting their interests including trains, forts, airplanes, fairies, popular cartoons and wildlife," Dan Cash from the Brighton Toy and Model Museum said.

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