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Showcasing My Spice Tin Collection

Updated on June 21, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

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

Displaying My Treasured Collection

Over the years, I collected decorative tins, particularly from the Tindeco Company of Baltimore, Maryland. At some point, I branched off into collecting spice tins.

It wasn't just any spice, it had to be ginger. The reason for that is my nickname is Ginger. The ginger tins that I wanted for my collection were the vintage ones that sometimes showed up at flea markets and even yard sales. I have some that date back to the 1800s.

Now once you have a collection, the next step is displaying it. The logical place for it was the kitchen, but I have little free wall space in that room. The appliances seem to intrude and take up all the room.

Our next choice was the breakfast room which had a bare wall just begging to be used for something. My husband came up with the idea of using narrow shelves to hold my tin collection.

There was no wall space in the kitchen for the spice tin collection.
There was no wall space in the kitchen for the spice tin collection. | Source

No Room in the Kitchen

for My Displays

Here's my kitchen with the breakfast room off to the right. As you can see, I have displays on top of the cabinets, but that would not work for these smaller items like my ginger tin collection.

What I am displaying here is my collection of Hall China pitchers from the 1940s. Their sleek lines show up well against the white walls. I have a few Fiesta pitchers as well.

It's probably better for the spice tin collection to be displayed in the breakfast room. With grease from cooking getting into the air in the kitchen, it's not the best place for fragile collectibles. It isn't a problem for the Hall pitchers as those can be washed in soapy water without damaging them.

We Chose Ledge Shelving

I'm sure glass shelves would have looked fine too and would have given the impression that the tins were floating on the wall.

What I liked about the contoured shelving is we could match the wood of our breakfast table and our adjacent kitchen cabinets.

Ledge Shelving in Black

Kiera Grace Classic Multi Length Shelves, Black, Set of 4
Kiera Grace Classic Multi Length Shelves, Black, Set of 4

Black is a basic color that suits almost any decor. You can get these ledge shelve in white too.

 

See How the Ginger Tin Fits Easily on the Shelf

Source

Ledge Shelving in Walnut

Burnes of Boston LL2931 Level Line 3 piece Ledge Set, Walnut
Burnes of Boston LL2931 Level Line 3 piece Ledge Set, Walnut

If you have walnut woodwork or cabinets in your home, you'll want your display shelving to match.

 

Here's the Completed Project - My Ginger Tin Collection

Don't you think this turned out great. It fills the wall but doesn't take space away from the room. Visitors to our home are always intrigued by this display, so I give them the mini-tour with a brief history of spice tins.

Probably the oldest tin in my collection is the round one on the middle shelf, right hand side. Some of the old tins still have powdered ginger in them. Of course, it is probably bad after all these years and I'm certainly not going to cook with any of these 30 to 100 year old spices.

Are You Happy with Your Displays of Collectibles?

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My Prized Tins Are Made by Tindeco

Tindeco tins usually have this marking on the bottom or sometimes on the rim.
Tindeco tins usually have this marking on the bottom or sometimes on the rim. | Source

Handy Tool to Have - When Putting Up Shelves

My husband is quite handy and keeps a well-stocked workbench. That makes it easy when it's time to put up shelving.

He prefers the rechargeable screwdriver. If you want one tool that you'll use over and over, get one of these.

BLACK+DECKER Li2000 3.6-Volt 3 Position Rechargeable Screwdriver
BLACK+DECKER Li2000 3.6-Volt 3 Position Rechargeable Screwdriver

You can use an old-style screwdriver to put up your shelves, but this makes it ever-so-easy to do.

 

Collectibles Personalize a Home

The things you love and collect are unique to you and make your house an extension of your interests.

More of my Spice Tins on Display

Close up of the tins.
Close up of the tins. | Source
Crystalized ginger is a candy, not a cooking spice.
Crystalized ginger is a candy, not a cooking spice.
The round one is the oldest one I have. It's not in perfect condition but I think the dents and scrapes and discoloration shows its history and gives it a unique patina.
The round one is the oldest one I have. It's not in perfect condition but I think the dents and scrapes and discoloration shows its history and gives it a unique patina.

© 2014 Virginia Allain

Tell Me about Your Collection and How You Display It

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love ginger so you collection is fascinating to me. The variety out there when you pursue a collection is mind boggling.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @Diana Wenzel: Sounds like a delightful way to show the carvings and photos.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm still working on this one! :) I think the wood shelves look great with the tins (love that clock too!)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Love how you showcased your spice tin collection. I have some of those same shelves. They are classy and can be used for many things. I bought them when I had a beach condo on the Gulf Coast and used them to feature my carved shorebirds and wildlife photographs.

    working

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