Auction News

Disgruntled Employee Takes the Biscuit

will sell a highly unusual and – some might argue – controversial
biscuit tin at its County Sale on Monday 25th April in Bath.

While at first glance, the Huntley & Palmer biscuit tin
included in Bonhams’ sale appears to portray nothing more
than a peaceful summer’s day in a traditional English garden,
keen eyes may spot a couple of irregularities that are more
than likely to shock.

These days, dissatisfied employees are increasingly prepared
to take former employers to court to sort out disputes. However,
one particular employee of Huntley & Palmer during the 1970s
decided on an alternative and more inventive course of action.

Patrick Toynbee of Bonhams says: “Huntley & Palmer
is well known for their decorative biscuit tins which adorned
British tea tables for almost a century. However, there is also
a well known story passed on amongst collectors that when one
of their employees received notice of being fired, he decided
to decorate some of the tins in a manner which would make his
displeasure with his employers very clear, not just to them
but also to their customers.

you look very closely you will notice a pair of naked lovers
cavorting in a flower bed on the far left while two dogs are
romping in the flower bed to the right of the tin. There are
also reports of an obscene jam jar label as well but none of
these are clearly visible.

Obviously, the company wasn’t even aware of them and the first
they heard of it was when a grocer apparently took an extremely
good look at the picture and alerted them. Since then the tins
have become widely known as the ‘Disgruntled Employee Biscuit
Tin’, a very apt name for them indeed.”

Biscuit tins are increasingly appealing to collectors and the
ones produced by Huntley and Palmer are especially sought after
for their clever designs and ingenious shapes.

Bonhams expects to sell the ‘Disgruntled Employee Biscuit
Tin’ for £100-150 to the highest bidder on Monday
25th April. For those wishing to sneak a peek at the highly
decorative and notorious tin, viewing for the auction will start
on Friday 22nd April from 8.30am to 5pm, continuing on Saturday
23rd from 9am to 12noon and on Monday 25th from 8.30am at Bonhams’
saleroom in Old King Street, Bath

For more details visit the Bonhams
web site.