Branded tins from yesteryear are popular antiques

These  advertising tins are available from �3 each
These advertising tins are available from �3 each

This week, for some reason we seem to have had a lot of advertising calls. Maybe now Easter is passed and we are all looking forward to a nice summer, the media people are out in force! However advertising is nothing new. It dates back to Egyptian times when papyrus was used to make sales messages and wall posters.

As education became better and more available in the 17th century, more people could read, so advertising expanded into print (mainly leaflets and newspapers). Due to advances in the printing press, advertisements started to appear in weekly newspapers.

Adverts began to appear on television and radio (the first TV ad was seen in America in 1941). Then manufacturers came up with the idea of advertising their own brand with distinctive and attractive packaging which could be kept and used in the home.

Decorative tin canisters, like these were well used from the late 19th century, once techniques for printing on to metal were invented. There are still many good examples of colourful Victorian containers which are often ornate and highly detailed. Other very collectable areas are in confectionary and biscuits.

These specially made die cast models, above right, both celebrate the 100th anniversary of these household names: Campbell Soup and the RAC. Items like this are often made to mark special occasions and are extremely collectable. Manufacturers of almost any product will promote their brand at some time with collectable packaging often including a free gift. Recent examples include Kellogg’s, who gave away bowls featuring different characters from their cereal packets and PG Tips who often promote relevant occasions (Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Royal occassions etc) with a nice tin to store their teabags. When these household items become part of our everyday use in the home they are constantly reinforcing the brand to the consumer and whilst this method of marketing works very well, when it comes to collectable value, it does not do so well.

Very often the gifts are used for purpose and so become worth very little financially. However, the vans shown here are still mint and in their boxes, so keep their value very well. They are on sale at GB Antiques Centre for £10 each. The lesson here is, however tempting it may be, leave the item in its box!