Aesop's Fables > Aesop's Artifacts > Cans & Tins > Individual Cans and Tins

Individual Cans and Tins

1890?  Small jewelry (?) box whose top features La Fontaine’s “L’Amateur de Jardin.”  Nickel (“Régule”)?  3¼” x 2¼ x 1¾”.  59 from taba968, Yeux, France, July, ’21.

Lovely workmanship!  I wonder if this kind of small metal box had a specific use.  Its sides are weak, as I discovered.  They can be pushed in and out!  Oops!  The scenes on the short sides – not particularly fable scenes -- match each other, as do the scenes on the long sides: a hunting dog, respectively, and two dogs chasing a boar.  The detail on the top is exciting!  This bear is ready for the climactic hit!



1890? Carr and Co. Juvenile Biscuit Tin.  Five numbered scenes from FC with rhyming verses.  Carlisle, GB.  3" square by 4⅝".  £22 from wickedlady, Yorkshire, UK, through eBay, Nov., '05.

This cookie tin is highly corroded and so hard to read.  The cover picture, first in the series, has a mother crow visiting a dairy to find food for her children.  She then flies into a tree with a piece of cheese in her beak.  The fifth and final scene may be the most dramatic: the fox runs away as the fox flies away.  The art is nicely done, even through the darkening and discoloration.


1920? French cookie tin, featuring WL with a title below the oval black-and-white illustration.  €7 from Vincevafc, Rombles, France, through Ebay, July, 2020

Lithographed black-and-white oval image surrounded by images in gold and black.  This tin has seen better days!  The long sides illustrate cranes in flight, while the short side presents the wolf. 


1920?  French cookie or candy tin featuring an illustration on its top of "The Cat and the Monkey." 9¼" x 8" x 2¾". 120 Francs at the Clignancourt flea market, Aug., '99. Extra exemplar for $20 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.

The monkey shows a great eye as he glances towards us, while the cat is intent only on pulling the chestnuts out of the fire. To enjoy a close-up view of that monkey's eye, click on the box-image or here.  Around the oval-shaped illustration are red and green jewel representations in a gold and red floral design. Similar designs repeat on the sides of the tin. It pays to ask dealers in French flea market booths if they have any fable materials! The same dealer also had a set of beautiful figures from Rabier's edition (and even done by Rabier?) baut alas at a price I found way beyond me….




1920?  French sugar tin labeled "Sucre."  It displays WL, labeled, on one face.  Other faces and top have unnamed floral designs, ducks, and a bird.  $50 from, Jan., '20.

Though reversed and changed, the WL illustration is derived, I believe, from Gustave Dore's version.  I understand the French love for fables and for reminding themselves of them around the home.  Still, would I want to be reminded of the wolf devouring the lamb every time I reached for sugar?


1925?  Tin featuring WL, TH, and FC9½" x 6".  3¾" high.  Lyon: Ateliers En-C-Rages.  €25 through Ebay, perhaps Oct., '21. 

This tin represents a number of mysteries.  The manufacturer is a guess generated by what remains of a stamp in the center of the base of this box.  For all my searching, I cannot find when I had this purchase sent to Bertrand Cocq.  But here it is now, well worn.  What might have been its original use?

1925? Dutch tin container with led proclaiming "La Fontaine's Fabelen" and illustrating MSA.  The four sides, with scenes labeled in Dutch from TMCM, FS, "The Farmer and His Children," and FG.  About 6½" x 4¼".  $100 from, Jan., '20.  Second exemplar, much used, for $10 from lucyandrickysell on Ebay, Jan., '23.

This nostalgic canister – from candy? – presents delightful colored presentations of MSA, TMCM, and "The Farmer and His Children" and pleasant silhouettes of FS and FG.  The clothing in the first two colored segments is especially apt.  When people ask what my favorite fable might be, I usually mention MSA, since it has been the story of so much of my life!  What a delight this object is!  Click on this canister's image to see all four sides presented!  Imagine my surprise when I found this canister again offered -- for one-tenth the price of the first exemplar!


1930?  WG syrup tin, featuring "The Fox and the Rooster."  5¼" x 4" x 2¼" high.  $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.

This tin is surprising first of all for its delicate form.  It has three curved sides, two rounded edges, and two angled edges.  Secondly, it is hard for me to believe that this sort of container was used for a liquid like syrup.  The "WJ" on the bottom is clear.  Less clear is a name something like "W'Jnants Groenendael Freres."  The top shows a fox and rooster confronting each other.  The long sides repeat a scene of the two chasing around a tree.  The short sides offer two French quatrains.  The fox and rooster are, respectively, on the angled corners.  Poor condition. 



1930?  French circular bonbon tin.  "Les Fables de Lafontaine: Le Renard & Le Corbeau."  La Pierette.  Bonbons Surfins.  7" in diameter.  $7 from Anna Benichou, Strasbourg, through Luz Pintos, Carolina, PR, May, '01.

The fox already has the crow's cheese in his mouth on the cover of this bonbon tin.  The cover represents an expanded version of a circular card I have, also from Surfins.  It is on display with two other Surfin cards; click here to see it.  About half an inch is cut from the circumference of this illustration to make that one.  This tin is in fair to good condition.



1930?  Damoiseau cookie tin featuring illustrations on its top and sides of La Fontaine's fables. $27.11 from Jim's Things, London, through Ebay, May, '00. Extra exemplar for 170 Francs from Helen Moncourt, along the Seine, April, '97.

Ms. Moncourt had urged me to come back in a few days, saying that she had some things from her childhood that she could offer me. What a happy surprise to be offered this tin! A number of stories are illustrated in cartoon fashion: FC, MM, "The Heron," WL, OF, GA, TMCM, and TH. I was happy then to see the tin show up on Ebay, and Jim of "Jim's Things" could not believe that I had found his tin! Smart sellers and auctions probably tend to end up around the same place. I notice that this price three years later in England is within twenty Francs of that price then



1948? Wolf and Lamb, Tortoise and Hare Cookie Tin.  Art signed by R. Seseur.  7" x 4¾" and 3.1" high. $11 from Rob Stout, York, Great Britain through eBay, June, '02.

This tin is in fair condition.  The cover presents the scene of wolf and lamb facing each other across a stream.  The four sides involve repeating, on the long and the short sides.  On the long, a tortoise plods in one direction while a hare seems to run in another.  Those identical scenes carry over into the short sides, which feature a snail and a mushroom.  The bottom and insides are rather corroded. 

1950?  Cote D'Or chocolates tin. 4.3" x 3.5" and 3.1" high. GA.  $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.

This canister is in fair condition.  The cover presents the basic scene of cicada singing and ant working.  The small side panels show each doing his respective thing.  On one large side panel, the cicada dances while the ant carries an egg as big as his own body.  On the other, the shivering cicada comes to the ant, whose negative feelings are as bristly as the broom he carries.  


1960?  Belgian Cote d'Or chocolate tin.  4¼" x 3½" x 3¼" high.  FC.  $15 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, April, '01.

This blue tin presents FC well.  On the cover is the decisive scene of the fox flattering and bowing.  Just below is the scene, visible here, just prior to that moment, for here the crow is landing, and the alert fox takes notice of his arrival with the cheese.  On the short side to the right the crow sings.  On the longer side the fox, with cheese in paw, lectures the crow.  On the last short side, the dejected crow weeps.  The tin is in good condition.  Dany tells me that this tin is hard to find.



1970?  Belgian Fablio bubble gum tin.  "Fables de Jean de la Fontaine."  10" x 6½" x 2½" high. $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.

The cover features an opening book with "Fables de Jean de la Fontaine" on the cover and a small figure with something in his hand.  Inside the front cover one finds "fablio Bubble Gum Milou" and on the rim "Milou--Bubble Gum--Bobbie."  Around the sides are apparently colored stills from an animated cartoon alternating with black-and-red cartoon figures.  Several of the images are of frogs. Good condition.   Dany lists this item as a biscuit tin.



1975?  Tissot Bonbon tin.  "Bonbons Frescomint Rafraichissants."  Made in France.  Cover features FC with an apparent mint dropping from the crow's beak.  About 3" in diameter and ¾" high.  €15 from vide-maison-63 on Ebay, June, '23.

The colorful cover seems to replace a round cheese with a round mint.  The fox has his tongue hanging out of his mouth. 


1980? Rena French cake tin.  Conception Fusion.  Copyright Images d'Epinal.  7" x 5" x 3½" high.  $15 from Anna Tristani, Strasbourg, France, Sept., '01.  Less good exemplar for $6 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.

This cake tin suggests that it would make a good gift.  It features four Epinal fable scenes:  FC on the top and "The Fox and the Goat," "The Fox and the Cock," and "The Sick Lion and the Fox" around the sides.  The good exemplar is in very good condition.  The poorer exemplar shows plenty of rust and a bad long scratch across the top. Dany tells me that it is hard to find.


2000? Tortoise and Hare cookie tin.  No identifying markings other than a TH illustration on its circular pink cover.  Plain white sides.  7¼" in diameter, about 2¾" high.  $7 from Julia Christman, North Fort Myers, FL, through eBay Feb., '03. 

The eBay seller advertised this tin as an "Easter Decorative Tin."  The tortoise smiles up as he breaks the ribbon at the finish line.  The sleeping hare has pink markings; does he hold a pink Easter egg?  Pastel flowers are abundant in this pleasant scene.


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