Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

PRINCESS MARY TIN & PENCIL - URGENT!


smitten
 Share

Recommended Posts

Help!

You may have seen the discovery of 80+ mint/unopened tins in the national press and I'm thinking of buying one but at a hefty premium of £300 so want to be sure they are genuine.

Apparently the 'silver' bullet element is not marked Sterling Silver although I know some were nickel/plated, but more worringly the cartridge has no monogram or crown on it so should I steer clear please? Just because it's been featured in the Daily Mail doesn't make it true!

Hopefully somebody can shed some light on this before I part with my hard earned cash.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add that has anyone else been similarly tempted by this oportunity of a life time or, as I'm no expert, is the consensus of opinion that this discovery is a little too opportune and best steered clear of?

Some expert advice is much needed here please.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw them at The Chalke Valley history event.They were opened in front of the audience.It is just the tin with the pencil and it's retaining card.No other contents in there.It struck me as a bit steep .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

£300 quid for the tin and pencil, steep indeed, especially if the pencil is unmarked. Wouldn't be for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't see the attraction to these tins now the (whole) package has been opened and at £300 these tins are only going to loose value IMHO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Far too expensive - and I had read some time ago that things like this (in mint condition) might raise their heads for sale during the centenary which just seems a bit suspicious to me. It beggars belief that such a tin would remain unopened for such a long time. Surely the families of the men who eventually received these tins would have wanted to look inside. I'm afraid I would invest (squander) my money elsewhere.

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well said Anne,it seems to be a scam

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all. I've decided to pass this opportunity of a life time and see what they eventually sell for later in the year when the bulk of them are apparently to be auctioned off.

The notion that 80+ of these tins have sat in an unopened box for almost 100 years does seem to be too good to be true, and the lack of any detail on the pencils further aroused my own suspicions. Or maybe they are genuine but because they lacked these details they were considered unfit for issue?

As usual with anything like this it's always a case of buyer beware so your views have greatly helped me to see common sense and avoid splashing out something that may not be all it appears.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I understand, a couple of these cardboard boxes, and an opened one, turned up at one of the manufacturers a number of years ago. One of these boxes was auctioned by a major London Medal Auction House and the photographs provided at the time looked pretty genuine. I would, however, expect the cartridges to be marked with a M and Coronet.

Also see here
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=198415&hl=%2Bprincess+%2Bmary

As for the £300.00 price tag, well I think it is totally excessive, but it may lead to others trying to sell such tins at this price. Personally, I would check with the main reputable Militaria dealers if you want to pick one up an original tin. with bullet pencil, at a reasonable price.

Sepoy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all and needless to say I declined the offer to buy one of these.

I'm not saying they are not genuine as I can't afford the legal fees but what I would say is that;

1. The find/tins have not been independently authenticated to date by such bodies/experts as the IMG or NAM, and just come with press photos and articles as provenance

2. I have never previously seen a bullet pencil in this totally plain condition (without the monogram and /or crown) at any any auction, dealer or fair

3. I've had no response from the auction house to my preference to wait until they are publicly auctioned later this year (November?)

As I say they may be genuine but they are certainly very unusual as well as lacking any meaningful provenance, so I would not be entirely surprised if at some future point I read that they may have been less than originally publicised.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, IMG should of course have been IWM (Imperial War Museum) with NAM being the National Army Museum.

Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that if one sells for a lot of money then these days that sets the trend, and if a dealer has bought cheap they aren't bothered about them moving on and sit on them until a fool and his or her money turn up.

I don't think it is a scam, after all it is easy enough to get monograms on pencils, wasn't there one for sale a while back on a 1916 dated cartridge? and it would seem an odd thing not to sort. But yes it does beg the question what's it all about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the going rate (approx) on the open market for an issued tin in near-mint condition with similar and/or better contents?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tricky question to answer as it depends upon what you want given the variations that these tins/gifts came in.

Reputable dealers sell tins in good/very good condition with original 'smokers' contents (cigs/tobacco/card/ photo) for around the £250 mark at the moment but they exclude the pipe and lighter that would also have been part of the original gift set.

This really could do with someone producing a comprehensive if not definitive guide to the tins and their associated gifts, plus the types of bullet pencil that were produced and to whom they would have been issued. However the best I've been able to find is an article on the IWM web site which I have the most faith in and provides a really good start point (below).

http://archive.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.994/setPaginate/No

There are lots of conflicting or unsubstantiated (but well meaning) opinions about this subject, for example that only Officers were issued with the Sterling Silver tipped bullet pencils, but without some proper research they cannot be taken as true. I'm not even sure that 100 years on it is now possible to solve this enigma but I plan to contact the IWM to see what else they can confirm and will then share on this forum.

In the meantime I suspect we all have to use a little bit of nouse (based upon experience) and common sense when thinking of buying anything WW1 related for the next 4 years, especially if the item seems almost too good to be true, which is where I came in with this latest find of original tins.

Regards

Colin.

Ps. good condition Sterling Silver bullet pencils with monogram and crown/coronet on the shell case seem to be selling for around £100-120, some £40 more than they did last year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to reiterate, I'm not saying this latest find is not genuine but if the auction house want to realise the best possible price for them (which they do) then they know that the find has to be positively authenticated in some way, as they would expect with any other item they sell. Simply providing a copy of the recent press cuttings, which is all they are able to offer currently, does not do this.

If they can do this at some future point, plus somehow positively link the tin you may buy to the 'find' then perhaps I and others may be interested, akin to when you buy a limited edition book/print etc which always confirms it is number X of a total of Y. This may require defacing the tin with a new inscription or engraving which in itself will then detract from its 'original' condition and potentially reduce the value - a conundrum the auction house need to resolve.

Until then I'll keep my money in my wallet and do some more research into the whole issue of these tins/gifts and then share what I find so that hopefully we will all be better informed as a result.

Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is information out there, for example the IWM web site has a good page on the subject.

Over the years I have seen tins and contents come on the market and they have always made good prices as you say around £250 but that has been the price for some time and I can't say I've seen a fresh one on the market for a while, the last one I saw on ebay went for over £400, as for a reputable dealer selling them for that price, I doubt it now, a reputable dealer (any left?) also has a good customer base and will get more than 250 for them.

But there are also fake cigarette packets and at least one fake pencil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Medals Of England have a couple for sale at just under £300 but I have no experience of them so cannot say how reputable they are.

It would seem best to buy a good quality genuine tin and then fill it with one of the various 'repro' sets that are available to achieve the desired effect, thus avoiding any dodgy/fake contents. I've always wondered why quite so many 'genuine' packets of cigs and tobacco have survived and why the recipient never consumed them or traded them with his mates for some other sought after item.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always wondered why quite so many 'genuine' packets of cigs and tobacco have survived and why the recipient never consumed them or traded them with his mates for some other sought after item.

If you can lay hands on a copy of the Western Front Association's Bulletin No. 80 of February/ March 2008, do so. There's an detailed piece by Bill Fulton giving chapter and verse on the tins: numbers produced, different types of content - there were many and varied items that could be included - and the categories for eligibility (more details of the sub groups - home and abroad - than those outlined in the IWM article).

The article is based on the May 1920 official winding up report of the Christmas Fund .

So vast were the numbers that not only was distribution was still taking place in 1919 - almost certainly explaining some of the complete and original contents found today.

The article deals with most of the assumptions in the posts above - for example, who received the silver marked pencils as opposed to the plain nickel silver type. Combine that with the IWM piece, and there's little left to know.

Cheers,

GT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GT,

Thank you, this is just what I'm after so fingers crossed that I can find a copy.

Kind Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GT,

Found this publication on Amazon so look forward to digesting it when it arrives.

Thanks again.

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...
On 07/07/2014 at 15:49, smitten said:

Help!

You may have seen the discovery of 80+ mint/unopened tins in the national press and I'm thinking of buying one but at a hefty premium of £300 so want to be sure they are genuine.

Apparently the 'silver' bullet element is not marked Sterling Silver although I know some were nickel/plated, but more worringly the cartridge has no monogram or crown on it so should I steer clear please? Just because it's been featured in the Daily Mail doesn't make it true!

Hopefully somebody can shed some light on this before I part with my hard earned cash.

Kind Regards

Colin.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evening Colin 

i have me families tin it has everything in it but he did need to smoke a few fags when a Mortar boom landed next to him and did not go off next to him and  chaps with him 

 it was the only time he had smoked in his life it has only one fag in it but a full packet of Tobacco with all the cards no pencil but they come up at the sale room often 

i do have no one to give it to so happy to sell if you are looking for one 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Welcome to the forum. Colin hasn’t visited the forum since 2016. You can try sending a private message.

Michelle 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a couple of the tins already but would be interested in yours given the history, it really depends upon how much you would be expecting for it.

 

Regards

Colin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

Welcome to the forum. Colin hasn’t visited the forum since 2016. You can try sending a private message.

Michelle 

Thank you Michelle sorry i did not look at the date ill give it a go 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...