As Forrest Gump would say, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
One of the most traditional Valentine’s Day gifts for over a century, has been a box of chocolates. (Let’s face it guys, its much cheaper then diamond jewelry.)
The latter part of the 19th Century- also considered the “Cupid Golden Age” – Victorians avidly exchanged Valentine’s Day gifts and cards with each other, thus Valentine’s Day became commercialized. Richard Cadbury- a marketing genius of the English Cadbury Chocolate Company-designed fancy, heart-shaped candy boxes for displaying decadent chocolate assortments. Some of his treasured boxes were made of velvet or silk, and were made to last. His first chocolate box was decorated with a painting of his young daughter, Jessica, holding a kitten. Once the chocolates were eaten, the lovely box could be used to store keepsakes.
The 19th Century, Cadbury heart-shaped boxes are highly- prized among collectors today.
Russell Stover Company came out with the first “Secret Lace Hearts,” candy boxes, which were one of their biggest-sellers. The box was covered in satin and black lace, also known as the “lingerie box.” It was affordable and quite accessible in stores.
During the early 1900s, Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped candy boxes were available to purchase for roughly 40 cents each (times have sure changed). These boxes came in an array of pretty-colored designs and were filled with chocolate drops.
Quandary: If love is blind…. Why is lingerie so popular?
Other vintage well-known Valentine’s Day chocolatiers included: Russell Stover (originally called “Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies” in 1923), Whitman, Fanny May, Brach, Schrafft’s and See’s.
These vintage mid-1900’s fancy, heart-shaped chocolate candy boxes, can be quite collectible.
Search for- the 1940s-‘50s larger-sized heart boxes; their condition, and manufacturing materials used (silk). All important factors for determining their values.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”—Charles M. Schulz (Cartoonist & Creator of the Peanuts comic strip)
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
For more Collectable and Memorabilia know-how from contributor Patty Penke check out her book Stop Throwing Cash in the Trash: Your Guidebook to Finding Hidden Treasures and Transforming Them into Huge Profits and her blog vintagetrasureandmore.com