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March 2017 Artifact of the MonthQueen Elizabeth II just celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee, marking her 65th year in power, longer than any other British monarch. With the death of King Bhumibol Rama IX of Thailand (1946-2016), the Queen is also now the longest reigning head of state. This toffee tin commemorates her coronation in 1952.

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen on the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. Her coronation ceremony took place in 1953 in Westminster Abbey. The second longest reigning monarch was the Queen’s great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was in power for 63 years and 216 days. Victoria’s grandfather, George III, ruled for 59 years and 96 days but became ill leaving his son to act as regent for the last decade of his sovereignty. The longest reign by a European monarch was Louis XIV of France who ruled for 72 years and 110 days.

It is common to find old English tins in Canada as it was settled by pioneers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. At the time of World War I, the largest concentration of Englishmen outside of the United Kingdom was in Alberta. Queen Elizabeth, among her titles, is Queen of Canada and continues to serve at the head of Canada’s Government. 

The maker of this tin was Edward Sharp & Sons of Maidstone, Kent. Mr. Sharp (1854-1931) successfully turned his single, small grocery store into the largest toffee candy business in the world. Through manufacturing improvements and careful advertising, his Kreemy Toffee became a nationwide favourite. The advent of World War I increased his toffee sales as soldiers who returned home spread its fame to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. 


Perhaps this tin was purchased by a Peace Country farmer who had first sampled its toffee while fighting in World War I in France.

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Last updated: 3/2/2017 2:21:46 PM