Flower Power

In Chocolate, Easter, Nestlé on April 25, 2011 at 10.46

This Nestlé Easter egg was up for auction on Trade Me last year. It is 73 years old!

The seller, who was managing the auction on behalf of someone else, claimed that it had belonged to the owner’s mother, who, as a child was taken with the flowers on the wrapper of the confectionery, and just could not bring herself to consume it, putting it back in the box, and away in a cupboard in 1938 and there it stayed. After she passed away one of the children found it and kept it too, until last year. She certainly had more will power than I can scrape up.

I am fascinated with things that have somehow retained their original food product – and remained in their complete packaging and appearance as they were when originally manufactured. It’s like a time capsule. I have some full jelly and custard boxes, and also occasionally vintage boxes of dummy chocolates used for window displays come up for auction, mostly in the U.S. Not so long ago there was an entire salesman’s sample tray for Brach’s candy with every treat still wrapped and intact;  jubes, nougats, everything – from the early 1970’s!

I even had a dream about this egg, in which I was transported back in time to a 4 Square store in the 1940s during the lead up to Easter, and there it was – sitting on a shelf! I really wanted to buy this item,  but I just knew that there was no way it would ever make it to me in one piece so I let it go. Finally after a couple of months of continuous relisting, someone bought it. I still regret it, it would have been a real conversation piece to say the least!

Later in the year I will do a further post on the Nestlé brand and New Zealand confectionary products from our childhood.  Anyway, happy Easter to all my readers!

  1. 4Square, Watties and good Fish & Chips oh and canned peas all remind of growing up and summer. Summer Sunday roasts, and then the half hour wait before I was allowed to go in for a swim. And at night it was Round the Horn or Just a Minute on a Sunday night as the weekend drew to a close and school reared it’s ugly head.

  2. If you go back a few posts there is a recreation of a Wattie’s Pea can from 1963. I have a couple more Wattie’s posts coming up this year, along with Four Square. Two of my favourite Kiwiana brands…

  3. […] annual events and holidays of note, and as such, I last previously posted on Easter in 2011 here. Then …nothing. Also, I just don’t have very much good Easter shit in my collection […]

  4. This is an interesting post and that egg would have to be unique. I am amazed the chocolate has not rotted away or collapsed. It would probably be inedible now. There are older choclates aorund such as a bar Of J Fry and Sons chocolate that was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851, its date stamped and still intact, if somewhat grey. I also have an image of some chocolates from 1900 that were given to soldiers in the Boer War by the Queen, they have all dried out, but show few signs of rot. I think that 1938 Easter egg would have to be the oldest Kiwi candy item surviving though.

  5. Intact product is rare anyway (except for soft drinks, which seem to turn up on the regular with the original contents and labelling). But they even rarer in new Zealand given the country’s size. I have been collecting together pictures for a while with the intention of posting on the topic. This easter egg could possibly be the oldest but I recall a few years back a POS display box of Cadbury’s Chocolate a la Vanille turned up, with a number of original chocolates still in it. Not sure how old it was, likely earlier than the 1930s – I’d guess 1920s. However I can’t confirm that, although the chocolates did look old and original – being in the style of the time – that they were actually the originals. The tissue paper had been replaced, but logic indicates they were probably the real thing. Other than that I’ve seen an intact box of Cailler’s assorted chocolates from the 1960s, all individual foil and printed paper wrappers intact, and a tin of the classic Mackintosh De Luxe assorted toffees, also probably late 1950s- 1960s, also came up for auction out of the Hyde Park Museum collection which was recently auctioned off. I remember also as a youngster the Auckland Museum had stacks of Cadbury chocolate bars in the Centennial Street display, probably from the very early 1900s. Whether they were filled with genuine product or were original shop dummies – I couldn’t tell; they looked real.

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