Amateur Antiques column: My mum's hidden treasures include Gruffalo tea tin and wedding day keepsakes

Antiques columnist Janette Wilkinson talks to her mum about her keepsakes and presents which might not be worth a fortune but are much treasured.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 1:16 pm
Rare Yorkshire Tree Gruffalo tea tin

When I first broached the idea of writing an article about ‘Hidden Treasures’ to my mum,she told me that she didn’t have anything of any value. I assumed she meant monetary value.

However, once I had explained that it was about items that she saw as a ‘treasure’ and didn’t necessarily have to be worth a great deal of money, she then began to realise that she had a lifetime of them.

Once we got started, I soon realised that there would be enough items for quite a few articles. Here are a few hidden treasures that brought back happy memories.

Shirley and Alan Wilkinson have been married more than 60 years and Mrs Wilkinson still has the decorations from her wedding cake

My parents have just celebrated their 62 nd Wedding Anniversary. For all those years my mum has kept the decorations from the top of her wedding cake.

With these is a metal strip

with the name Mrs A Wilkinson that my dad had made when they were on their honeymoon in Blackpool. These items have been carefully kept in a small box alongside their wedding

photograph album. It was the first time I had seen these treasures.

Christmas decorations brought back from Germany

A long time ago (60 plus years) my mum’s brother, Norman, was stationed in Aden, Yemen.

When he returned to Blighty, he brought a small jewellery box for my mum. It is a black lacquer box with painted flowers on the top and two false drawer handles on the front. This is a treasure as it is one of the few presents from her oldest brother that has survived through the years.

Her younger brother, who was just a young teenager when she married once bought her some Wade tortoises for Christmas. I remember these being out on display when I was a

young girl and we had to be careful when we used them to play with so as not to damage them.

They are now kept safe in their original box that has written on the top, ‘From Trevor to Shirley’. My Uncle Trevor has always been a man of few words.

I very rarely leave the house without wearing perfume. I have even been known to drive back to put some on when I have forgotten to do so, or to make a pitstop at my parents’ house to put some of my mums on. I just don’t feel dressed without perfume. During lockdown, when working from home, I didn’t bother with make-up but always put on a spray of my favourite scent.

I must have got this trait from my mum. I can still smell her usual daily perfume Coty L’aimant. Special occasions called for Guerlain’s Shalimar. This was often bought for my mum as a present from my dad.

A couple of bottles remain as hidden treasures. I moved to live in Germany in 1989. When I first went, I lived in West Germany and then in November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and the East and West were united. During this time my mum came for a visit. She bought a few Christmas items that were traditionally


These items are put on display every Christmas and then get carefully put away until the following year.

The last item included in my mum’s hidden treasures is a little out of place. All the items so far bring back memories and the ‘treasure’ is the memory itself. However, my parents have

a collectable item