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Ivory Casket

  • Object:

    Biscuit tin

  • Place of origin:

    Carlisle (made)

  • Date:

    1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Paul Greville Hudson, born 1876 - died 1960 (designer)
    Hudson, Scott & Sons Ltd. (made by)
    William Crawford & Sons (made for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tinplate, offset litho printed, embossed.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by M. J. Franklin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The British biscuit tin came about when the Licensed Grocer's Act of 1861 allowed groceries to be individually packaged and sold. Coinciding with the removal of the duty on paper for printed labels. It was only a short step to the idea of printing directly on to tinplate. The new process of offset lithography, patented in 1877 allowed multicoloured designs to be printed on to exotically shaped tins.

The most exotic designs were produced in the early years of the 20th century, just prior to the First World War. In the 1920s and 1930s, costs had risen substantially and the design of biscuit tins tended to be more conservative, with the exception of the tins targeted at the Christmas market and intended to appeal primarily to children. The designs, generally speaking are a barometer of popular interests.

The advent of the Second World War stopped all production of decorative tin ware and after it ended in 1945, the custom never really revived.

Physical description

Biscuit tin, offset litho printed tinplate, embossed in the form of a casket with a handle and decorated with figures after Albrecht Dürer.

Place of Origin

Carlisle (made)


1910 (made)


Paul Greville Hudson, born 1876 - died 1960 (designer)
Hudson, Scott & Sons Ltd. (made by)
William Crawford & Sons (made for)

Materials and Techniques

Tinplate, offset litho printed, embossed.

Marks and inscriptions

Marked: Rd.560110


Height: 16 cm, Width: 16.5 cm, Depth: 11 cm

Object history note

M.J. Franklin Collection of British Biscuit Tins.

Descriptive line

Biscuit tin, `Ivory Casket', offset litho printed tinplate, embossed, Carlisle, made by Hudson Scott & Sons for William Crawford & Sons, 1910.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Michael Franklin, British Biscuit Tins, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1984, ISBN. 0905209621




Offset lithography; Embossing


Containers; Metalwork; Portraits; Children & Childhood; Eating; Food vessels & Tableware

Production Type

Mass produced


Metalwork Collection

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