Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas 1914

The Princess Mary Christmas Tin 1914

Today I'm joining Joan over at Anything Goes Here for Vintage Christmas Monday. Joan has asked others to share their vintage Christmas items, so today I'm sharing a special gift I received from a friend a few years ago. This is a beautiful brass Christmas tin that was produced in 1914. I have it sitting on a table in my living room during the holiday season.

This tin and thousands of others just like it were a gift from their nation for those men and women serving in the British armed forces on Christmas Day 1914. Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, wanted to do something special for the men and women serving their country on the battlefield. She created the "Sailors and Soldier Christmas Fund" to provide a gift for those serving in the war on Christmas Day. The response was so great that the plan eventually included all those in the King's uniform both at home and abroad.

The brass boxes about 3" x 5" x 1.5" deep contained a variety of gifts. For the men on the front lines, the boxes contained tobacco related items. Those who did not smoke received tins with sweets, and the tins for the nurses contained chocolates. Most of the tins also contained a pencil within a bullet case holder.

The polished brass tins were embossed with IMPERIUM BRITANNICUM, Princess Mary's profile surrounded by a laurel wreath with the monogram M on either side, and the names of Britain's allies: France, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Serbia, and Montenegro.

My little tin is in excellent condition. I wonder to whom it might have once belonged and what the original contents might have been. It's a sweet remembrance of those who sacrificed so much during the first World War.

Perhaps you have a family member who served in the British forces during this time and one of these tins is in your possession. Thank you for stopping by today. Please leave a comment to let me know you were here. I always appreciate your notes.

Deana @ Alchemy fine Living has recently posted about the Pay It Forward gift that she received from me. Deana owns a store that sells a unique blend of antiques and vintage home decor items. She is always sharing a great design idea or a fabulous makeover of a vintage item. Deana is one talented lady! If you would like to play the game, hurry on over to Deana's. The first three to respond will receive a PIF gift from Deana.

Then visit Joan @ Anything Goes Here for a list of participants who have vintage Christmas treasures to share.