97-year-old chocolate Easter egg discovered in Derbyshire home set to fetch hundreds of pounds at auction

A 97-year-old Easter egg, treasured for a lifetime by the little girl it was given to in 1924, is comingup for auction.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 4:32 pm

Christine Lilian Metcalf was just two years old in 1924 when her Aunty Poll gave her the Pascall’s chocolate egg, which was presented as a doll.

She loved it so much, she simply couldn’t bear to eat her ‘doll’ and kept it for the rest of her life.

She carefully tucked it away in a chest of drawers in her bedroom, proudly bringing it out occasionally to show members of her family. Along the way, it survived the Second World War and 10 house moves.

Christine Lilian Metcalf, standing centre, aged six in 1926. Cousin Brenda is sitting on the table. Christine's mum, Lilian Holt, is standing and Aunty Poll is right.

Christine was born in London, on April 13, 1922, the daughter of Christopher and Lilian Holt.

For the last 30 years of her life, it remained at her home in Hulland Ward in Derbyshire – the place where the egg was discovered by Hansons Auctioneers.

Now, just in time for Easter, the special egg is due to be sold by Hansons on March 12 with a guide price of £200-£300. However, thanks to its provenance and place in British chocolate manufacturing history, Hansons says it could fetch more.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “This is the sweetest find and so timely. You can still smell the chocolate. The egg itself is in remarkable condition, having been protected by a decorated egg-shaped casing covered in violets. Christine couldn’t bring herself to eat it because she loved the doll

Lilian's Easter Egg from 1924

so much. The chocolate egg is the body which is dressed in a paper costume with a doll’s head on top.

“People are amazed by finds like this. The fact that the egg has survived so long is remarkable in itself but in today’s throwaway society, when people often have more than they need, they find it incredible that a little girl of two had the self-discipline to never eat it and treasure it forever.”

Christine passed away at the age of 97 on Christmas Eve in 2019.

Christine’s daughter, a 74-year-old retired teacher from Hulland Ward, said: “Mum used to bring the egg out from time to time to show her children and grandchildren as a special treat. You were allowed to touch it, if somewhat gingerly.

Christine Lilian Metcalf in later life

“I saw it a dozen times during the course of my life. It was safely tucked away in mum’s chest of drawers most of the time, which, I suppose, is why it’s survived so well.

“My mother has four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren so it would be impossible to decide who to give it to. So, my brother and I have decided to sell it in the hope it might be bought by a museum or collector who will treasure it like our mother did. She really loved it and was very

proud of it.

“Our mother’s mum, Lilian Holt, was the eldest of seven children, all born in and around the First World War. They were not a wealthy family and mum didn’t have much when she was small, so when her Aunty Polly, or Poll as she was known, gave her the egg it was treasured forever.”

Charles Hanson with the Easter egg

The Easter egg is due to be sold in Hansons’ online Antiques and Collectors Auction at the firm’s headquarters in Etwall.

Lilian's Easter Egg from 1924