Tuesday, June 1, 2010

T is for Tins, Souvenirs de Bretagne

T is for

Tins, Souvenirs de Bretagne

Galettes from St. Michel

Join me as I share a collection of delightful souvenir tins. I'm recycling this post from one I published as guest blogger for Quimper Club International last September. A special "Thank You!" to QCI members Diane, Gay, Judy, Doris, and Barbara for sharing photos of tins from their collections as well. All you pinkies here for Pink Saturday this week will find lots of pink used in the designs on some of these tins.

Group of Tins Filled with Galettes

If you are like me, you like to take home small gifts from your travels to family and friends.
I've discovered the perfect gift from Brittany is a tin of galettes. Designed for the tourist trade, one can easily find tins filled with the traditional Breton butter cookies: the flat"glaettes," the thick shortbread "palets," or the rolled crêpe cookie "crêpes à dentelles". Of course the charm for me of a souvenir of this sort is the gift tin in which these cookies are packaged. Often these delicious French butter cookies come in hinged tins decorated with Quimper faience designs. So once the cookies are gone, the charming little tin box can be reused for any purpose. In our home one is usually filled with fig newtons, while another may have fresh baked brownies. Several are home to tea bags, odd buttons, or anything that needs to be stored on a shelf. A friend in France says they are the perfect size for a box of sugar cubes.

No wonder these are so good. They are made with lots of butter!

This tin shows the typical decor of "Décor Mistral".

This one is in the "Décor Soleil".

One of my favorites is "Décor Le Coq Ancien".

Another of our feathered friends, "Décor Jardin d' Eté".

Here we have another version of the "Décor Jardin d' Eté" with a "Décor Mistral" .

This tall cylindrical tin shows the same HB-Henriot décor as the large square tin show in the header.

It was produced in recent years and often used to store spaghetti once the cookies were gone.

The beautiful floral design is also found on the sides of the square tin of this design.

This tin shows a painting by Philippe Lalys in the tradition of Porquier Beau.

This unusual tin with handle shows the décor of Jim-Emile Sévellec.

Another tin, Galettes de Pleyben, is from the 1930s and is also a design by Sévellec.

Each side is decorated with additional scenes.

Notice the detailed borders

And of course this identifies the contents.

This vintage tin is possibly a design by Fouillen.

This tin shows the Modern Movement work of artist Mathurin Méheut.

Obviously this tin held the curled crêpes dentelles. The delicate lace border mimics the lace of the coiffe, a traditional Breton headdress.

Looks like these young ladies are having a good time!

Oh, the Breton crêpes are the best!

Vintage tin from Le Croisic

Yet another vintage tin with typical Breton scene.

This is the colorful border on the tin pictured above.

Contemporary tins typical of those found in the souvenir shops of Brittany.

Another tin with a scene of celebration.

This one shows the beloved Bretagne character, Becassine.

These two contemporary tins show typical seaside scenes from Brittany.

This delightful tin depicts a celebration along the river bank.

If a trip to Brittany is not in your near future, this charming "Décor Mistral" tin filled with Galettes de Bretagne is just a click away here in the US at Frenchy Bee. Click here to order your tin today.

Click here to buzz over to Mrs. Matlock's class for more about the Letter T at Alphabe-Thursday. I'm also linking this post to Le Chateau de Fleurs' French Obsession Party for June and the following memes this week.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. OH I love this! My Dad is from Bretagne :)
    I had a lot of those cookies growing up too...They are very popular in France. I love the tins...
    Thank you for linking to French Obsession.

  2. You have such a large and wonderful collection. I am sure those buttery cookies are delicious. I just may have to check those out!

  3. The tins are wonderful. I had to look at them twice. It's a very special collection. I have quite a few tins but they are very diverse.


  4. This is such a fun collection. I especially like the one with the little handle.

  5. Wow...what a super fabulous post!! these are all such beautiful pieces of art..magical...I love them..fascinating treasures...thank you for sharing them all..spectacular!! I couldn't even pic a favorite..they all seeemed to have their own character!! Just beautiful!!
    Have a happy day..thanks for adding a spark of color and beuaty and art to mine!! yay!

  6. What a wonderful collection. They all are just lovely and I'm sure the cookies are yummy. Thank you for sharing.

  7. wow, those are some gorgeous tins! what a great collection!

  8. What a marvelous collection of tins ... so colorful & delightful.

    Have a great week.
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  9. Those tins are fabulous! I have to confess, I hurried over to the French Bee and ordered the cookies just to have the tin.

  10. You have made me so Jealous....I LOVE LOVE tins. what u have are absolutey charming! be still my heart...O my they are so lovely.beautiful post!

  11. What a wonderful collection you have there! I have always loved and collected tins. They're so pretty and usable too!

  12. Those tins are such beautiful works of art. That is fantastic!

  13. Hi Sarah,

    Your collection and the info attached to each tin is fantastic.
    They are true works of art.

    big hugs,

  14. What a wonderful collection you have here! The rooster tin was so cute...I love roosters:)

  15. Sarah, you know I love this post. I have studied each photo, and I love all of them! I have one tin that I found at a flea market one time. It holds makeup supplies on my dresser. I don't think mine is vintage, but I love it anyway. I'll have to post a picture of it some time. I love when someone else links some of MY favorite things to Favorite Things Sat.! Hope you're having a good trip. laurie

  16. What beautiful Quimper. I have two bowls from Quimper that have my grandparents names on them.

  17. What beautiful tins. I've never heard of them before. Great T post.

  18. OK, I got distracted by the idea of one of those beautiful tins filled with freshly baked brownies.

    What a delicious stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "T"!

    Thank you for sharing this terrific and interesting post featuring those charming tins!


  19. Just a beautiful post! Love the tins and the gorgeous graphics!

  20. How divine! You have quite a collection. I wish I could have one of those buttery biscuits right now!

    Best wishes,

  21. What a beautiful and unusual collection. They are really lovely, I especially love the little one with the handle. Wonderful choice for T. Kathy

  22. What a neat collection you have. Those beat the pants off my cheap Big Lots tins! Do you display them or just pull them out for certain uses?

  23. What a beautiful T post. I love all those tins.I have been collecting tins long time ago, got rid of most of them but have some nice ones left.And when I see a nice one I can't resist.
    Have a nice week.

  24. you just might have inspired a future tin collector. Wow, I really loved those.

  25. i admire your collection...you have some really unique items! is it okay to admit that i am now sorta craving a butter cookie?

  26. You have such a beautiful collection of tins! I love thw Quimper design. Terrific "T" post!

  27. I love the range of designs.

  28. Sarah,
    This was one of my favourite posts of those you did whilst sitting in the guest blogger seat over at QCI.
    When are you coming back to share more of your collection with us?

  29. Wow! What great graphics! I love them all. The borders would be great inspiration for embroidery designs.

  30. How interesting and so charming! What a lovely tale of tins!

  31. These tins are wonderful. They really tell a story. Why dont you bring some of those "galettes bretagnes" at my Tea Party!


  32. How cute they all are!

    I have a mini collection of tins that are patterned after the Celestial Seasonings tea boxes and I love them.

  33. such a great collection of tins :D

  34. What a fabulous collections of tins!! Wow!! Love them!

    Susan and Bentley

  35. What a beautiful collection ! I was going to do my bad ass alphabet on Rin Tin Tin a comic book character ha! Anyway , have a nice day !

  36. Oh gosh, what beautiful tins!!!! Fabulous collection!
    THANKS so much sharing!

  37. Wonderful tins ! I think I may recognize one or two :-)

  38. You amaze me with your wonderfully eclectic collections, Sarah! How DO you do it?
    These little tins are remarkable in terms of history & they each have a tale to tell.
    Thanks for sharing their stories & yours, too.


  39. What a beautiful collection!
    I have a treasured tin tray and covered tin from the Alsace, similar to some of what you've shown. I love the colours in your pieces - treasures!

  40. Wonderful choice of T-word, Tins! Just love them - both the outside decorations and the good things that can be put in them!!
    Best wishes,

    Anna's Ts

  41. Good Morning Ms. Sarah!

    I love those tins! My fave is the Rooster--but they are all gorgeous! I know they held tasty treats. Thanks for sharing all your lovely things with us, and thanks to your friends that shared theirs as well!

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  42. Wow..Sarah, these are such wonderful, unique and beautiful tin..Quite a collection!

  43. Sarah, what a lovely post. Your collection is wonderful.. thanks so much for sharing them with us.
    hugs ~lynne~

  44. Love the pictures of TINS! Oh, the possibilities of what you can put in them is endless....

  45. Hello Sarah. We have passed along an award to you. See for yourself:

    January Asia & Steven Hui

  46. I do love tins! From simple to ornate, they are just precious. Happy Pink Saturday!

  47. I love tins and this combined collection is wonderful. My mom would really love the rooster.

    My T is up.

  48. Happy Pink Saturday! Love the collection of tins.

  49. Oh, Sarah! What a fabulous collection! I love them all! I have just a few...some from Mere Poulard...and have just a few galettes left! Yum! But..er...of course, I buy the tins for the pictures of the costumes! I can't even pick a favorite. I'll be back to look at your lovely collection again!!! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

  50. How did I miss this one??? Such gorgeous tins. It's amazing the quality of art on these little darlings.

    Hope your trip went well. Sorry we didn't connect. Maybe this summer?

    I'm hosting a new meme called "Summer Sundays" and it's all about what summer means to YOU! I'm sure there are many things in your numerous collections that mean SUMMER to you! Hope you'll come and join us.

    - The Tablescaper

  51. Those are all beautiful. What a great collection!!!

    The only tins I have are from Altoids. Lol.

  52. Wonderful tins :o) I have a small collection of tins. I especially like your tin with the handle...so unique!

    Blessings & Aloha!

  53. Dear Sarah, I am so amazed to see you huge collection of french tin boxes. Some really look like Quimper design and match surely perfect with your Quimper ceramics. I remember, that I loved those crispy buttery flavour of that cookies when we have been in Bretagne. Did you ate them all? :-)
    Greetings, Johanna

  54. Sarah, What awesome tins you have! What a collection! I enjoyed looking at them and I imagined that I was sharing a cookie (20% butter!!!) and tea at your kitchen table. You asked if I liked ginger chews. I haven't had them but I probably would; I like must anything sweet! Hope all is well with you and I always enjoy visiting.
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

  55. Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

  56. Hi - I am really glad to discover this. cool job!

  57. Hi - I am definitely happy to discover this. Good job!


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