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Collecting Valentine Tins

Updated on February 14, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

Collecting has been a lifelong passion for Virginia and her collections range from ephemera to tins and Hall china.

Valentine candy tins in various sizes collected by Connie Partridge.
Valentine candy tins in various sizes collected by Connie Partridge. | Source

Meet An Avid Tin Collector - Connie Partridge

I met Connie in a Facebook group where modern tin collectors gather. She had a remarkable display of Valentine tins. I was curious about someone with such a delightful collection, so I interviewed her.

She gave me insight into how she started her collection, what intrigued her about heart-shaped tins, and how she displays them.

Valentine Tins Are Just Part of Her Collection

In February, she displays her heart-shaped tins.
In February, she displays her heart-shaped tins. | Source

How Did You Start Collecting Tins?

The first tin I was attracted to was a Riley's Toffee tin. I liked it because it had a windmill on it. The windmill was the catch for me. (I also collect them! Wooden, metal, cloth, glass, copper, etc. The Riley's tin had a Dutch windmill and I only collect farm windmills, however.) The Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper had an offer to buy 4 Quaker Oats tins, back in the 70s or 80s and I bit. Then the jig was up. By 1990 I had about 50.

How big is your collection now?

There are over 6000 different advertising tins in the total collection. In the 1980s they started making a lot of reproductions of older tins that were lovely and drew me in some more. Now I have lots of tins older than that, back to the early 1900s. There are 276 of the Valentine tins. Seasonal tins are packed in boxes until their calendar time. Over 4,500 are on display in my home at all times.

Do You Collect Tins?

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Display Tins on Mantels, Shelves, or Wherever You Have Space


Storing a Large Tin Collection

That must take a lot of space. Where do you keep them all?

Connie, "When we built our home I made sure there was room above our kitchen cabinets to display my tins. I had over 700 Christmas tins displayed this past season until it was time to get the Valentine tins out. Easter next. The name of the collection is Modern Advertising Tins. Most were 1980 onward. We have a room in the basement that is 29' x 13 1/2" and is packed with tins from floor to ceiling and now the tins creeping into the main traffic patterns in the room. They are well organized. I have a website where all the tins are cataloged with a site map to help viewers find specific types of tins."

I understand that you give talks about your collection. What do you include?

Connie, "I have a hard time keeping my programs to an hour! I include the history of the tin industry and information about many companies and tips for collecting tins. I welcome visitors and tell folks in my audience that they are welcome to come see them anytime."

It seems that the tin collecting involves not only her but her husband as well. She said, "my husband got involved when I needed photographs taken for the site and now he is as involved as I am. Lucky me."


© 2018 Virginia Allain


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Such a great collection and what's even better is they get displayed depending on the season.


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