All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation

Tin box

Going through boxes again, I found my favorite tin. My Dad used to keep this on his work bench in the garage, for “found things” that might be handy one day. From aged two, I used to sit up on the bench and learnt how to mix cement in my own little wood tray he had made, use an old fashion blow torch, chisels etc. As years progressed and we renovated the family home and then I did the same with mine, the tin never moved from its place. When I finally sold the house in 2018, and cleared all Dads tools, the tin came to France.

I love it’s strong turquoise colour and typical retro graphics. The fashion is really obvious here with tulip shaped coats and turban style hats and bobbed hair, very Jackie O. I love the little scenes of afternoon drinks under the cafe umbrellas and dog walking and one man in a trilby hat, very City. It’s a scene from London, also my home town. And the tin top is red and white striped like a candy. It was very likely a sweet tin.


Today it had a clean. I couldnt rub too hard as the years as the surface quite delicate. It’s a bit tatty but funnily the 1950 image must have gelled in my brain, as my Attelier is all 1950’s furnished. The tin will have a new home there. We find many tins in the French Brocantes and relatively cheap too…with pictures of chickens, soap and flowers and the odd tobacco tin. So colourful and so pretty for putting flowers in or if not too damaged, for holding cutlery or wooden spoons.


And most of all I love that it was made in Great Britain. Today the economy is in a desperate straight because we sold out our home industries and manufacturing. In my career I have seen the steady decline of good companies due to incompetent management and lazy staff. It times people took back pride in what they do and how they represent themselves and their companies or industries. No problem with healthy trading but China has swamped the market. We will pay the price for that decision.

Maybe it’s time to reduce packaging. Get back to tins and keep them for keepsakes.

Made in Great Britain. Now that sounds great!

2 thoughts on “Tin box

  1. A gorgeous tin! I only wish I had saved the many tins people in my family used to use for all sorts of things over the years. At one time people moved onto plastic storage, didn’t they?!

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    1. Same here. My mum threw out loads. We went to the advertising museum in London and it was great seeing all the colourful tins. Funny how plastic has become enemy number one now.

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