Things get better with age, whether it’s people, wine or chocolate. Even though chocolate has a typical shelf life of three years, people were eager to get their hands on a 122-year-old bar. The more scarce the object appears to be, the higher the demand.
There aren’t too many century-old bars floating around so this bar fetches a high rate among bidders on the Eddisons auction site. The Rowntree’s tin of chocolates made during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1899 had an asking price of $100-$220. However, the bids escalated the price to $480, with a total of $567 including fees. It’s a high price for a chocolate bar that you can never taste.
The antique chocolate tin was found in a person’s attic in Lincolnshire and the homeowner’s grandfather in Immingham fought in the war and received the chocolates as a gift. His self-control lasted a long time as he never binged into the bars.
The value of the chocolates is derived from their rich history. During the Boer War, Queen Victoria sent boxes of chocolates to British troops and ordered the bars to be sent to soldiers looking to take control of South Africa.
This was a controversial move as the major chocolate companies were owned by Quakers, who were pacifists. They opposed the war and did not want to be seen as profiting from the fighting so they agreed to supply the chocolate free of charge in unbranded tins.
However, Queen Victoria wanted troops to see the chocolate was of high quality so some of the chocolate was marked and these bars are stamped with Rowntree’s name. The bars from the auction do have Rowntree Branded chocolate inside.
Auctioneer Paul Cooper, from Eddisons, said, “Of course, the militaria and Boer War enthusiasts who are going to be bidding to add this rarity to their collections would not dream of eating such a treasure.”