When it comes to collecting vintage tins, the British tins of the 1860s-1930s rule.
Commemorative tins are especially collectible such as ones featuring the Royal family.
Condition is the top priority. Best ones have no dents, no rust and no missing decorative pieces.
If you have a tin, keep it out of direct sunlight. That is where it loses most of its color. The deep rich colors are more sought after. Also, keep it out of the kitchen and bathrooms were steam can get to it.
The most famous tins are those made by Huntley and Palmer Biscuits which can be valued up to $300.
A CSW Biscuit tin from early 1900s is valued around $75. A McVitie & Price tin, depicting Victoria Cross heroes made in the late 19th century recently went for over $300. So tins can be quite pricey.
Tins tend to vary in size from large to miniature shapes. Many were made as novelties, some for practical purposes and others for Christmas.
You may find some more recent tins featuring such things as Coca Cola Santa Claus. Those tend to be valued around $5.
You need to watch for older ones like a Moore Brothers Tea tin from the early 1900s that is valued around $150. Also look for unusual tins. A McVitie & Price tin modeled after a chest of drawers is worth around $125. There are some other great tins like a Huntley & Palmer purse made in the mid 20th century that goes for around $15 and a Huntley & Palmer tin that looks like a set of books that is valued around $200.
Although tea and biscuits tins are the most popular of the older tins, there are some other items people seek.
A Brown & Polson’s Custard Powder tin featuring a butterfly is worth around $15. A Compactoid First Aid Case tine from the 1930 goes for around $25.
Tins are everywhere; tag sales, flea markets, Goodwill stores and probably in your grandmother’s basement. People tended to keep them to store nails, screws, buttons or clips. Some were used to give away Christmas cookies in or to keep brownies or other desserts.
As with most collectibles, start off seeing what pieces you seem to like. Do not spend a large amount of money unless you are positive of the value. Once, you really get into collecting, purchase a guide book. There is a price guide for everything and they are updated yearly. I recommend the book Miller’s Advertising Tins. Miller is a top name in guide books.
Remember, you should never buy something or will sell something at book price value. If making a purchase, try to get the item at ½ off the book price. You may just get lucky. If you are selling don’t expect to get more than half book price from a dealer. You may even only get about 1/3 of its value. Dealers need to resell it and they most likely will not get book value from it.
A good place to start is eBay. It is free to search for items and see what prices they sold for. Just look under completed items.
So start your search and keep the names – Macfarlane Lang & Co. Jacob’s, Peek Freans, Crawfords and Rowntree’s – in mind. Good Luck!