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Antique Canadian Silverplate Biscuit Barrel

Antique Canadian Silverplate Biscuit Barrel

$295.00

"And you can cut some fruit cake and have some of the cookies and snaps."

Marilla Cuthbert helping Anne plan afternoon tea, from Anne of Green Gables

Before America had the cookie jar, Great Britain had their own version, known as a Biscuit Barrel. While our cookie jars tended to be whimsical, the British version has always been decidedly handsome and definitely more classic in its design, and these clever designs also made their way to the Dominions, including Canada. 

We are delighted to present this antique Canadian Silverplate Biscuit Barrel, which seems fit holding cookies for afternoon tea with Anne Shirley. In a traditional barrel shape with a well fitted lid and decorative side handles, this biscuit barrel is engraved with charming details, proclaiming that it contains "Biscuits" in an ornate font embellished with thoughtful flourishes.

Produced by the Toronto Silver Plate Company - the first company in Canada to make silverplated goods - in Toronto, this lovely biscuit barrel made its way to France at some point in the last century before we found it at market outside Paris!


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. In very good antique condition. Measures 6"H x 6"D.

Learn More About Biscuit Barrels

Demand for commercially produced biscuits soared in the 19th century, as did the demand for tea and coffee. Along with the large scale manufacturing of biscuits and the popularity of taking afternoon tea with sweets, biscuit boxes and barrels became necessary for storing biscuits and bringing them to the table while taking tea. As biscuits were fragile by nature, these tins, boxes or barrels also provided protection and helped keep biscuits fresher for longer.

The popularity of afternoon tea during the Victorian era increased the demand for highly decorative biscuit boxes, which would take pride of place alongside elegant tea and coffee services. As afternoon tea was often a social event, these serving pieces were an opportunity to display the family's social standing and wealth.

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