A biscuit tin of a double-decker bus which was kept in a kitchen cupboard for decades turned out to be a rare collectors’ item and sold for more than £3,000.
The Huntley & Palmers tin had been gathering dust for 25 years after its owners, a retired couple, tucked the object away in a cupboard and forgot all about it.
When the couple moved house they discovered the colourful red and cream tin and took it to an antique valuation event to find out about its history.
They were left stunned when experts revealed it was a 1929 prized collectors’ item and was worth thousands of pounds.
The 90-year-old biscuit tin doubles up as a clockwork double decker motor bus destined for London’s Liverpool Street complete with passengers and driver.
The vehicle features pictures of a sassy set of 1920s London commuters together with the driver and a Huntley & Palmers advert for Breakfast Biscuits.
It was expected to sell for around £1,000 but it eventually fetched £3,100 when it went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on Tuesday.
The couple, who remain anonymous, said: “It’s truly amazing. We’re surprised and delighted by the price it sold for.
“To say we were absolutely gobsmacked when we first found out it could be worth £1,000 to £1,500 is the understatement of the year – and it sold for even more.
“We just took it along to a free valuation event with a couple of other items to find out a bit more about it.
“I’ve kept it in a cupboard for 25 years.
“It’s come out of its box a couple of times. I inherited it from my mum and she got it from her cousin who used to run a corner shop in the Doncaster area a long time ago.
“It was found in a cupboard at the shop.
“We came across it again when we moved house. You put things away and just forget about them.”
Auctioneer Charles Hanson realised the value of the tin when he examined it an open day event last month.
He said: “I was amazed when I saw it. It had been tucked away in a cupboard at a shop and still had its original cardboard box.
“It was made 90 years ago and dates back to the start of the Great Depression in 1929.
“It’s survived unscathed through numerous world events including the Second World War which lasted from 1939 to 1945.
“Thanks to the ingenuity of their designs, Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins became as highly prized as the products they contained.
“Now they are collectors’ items.
“From miniature replicas of vehicles to tins that could be re-used as household objects, the firm came up with ways to make their biscuit tins extra special.”