The Princess Mary Gift Fund

As ‘we’ approach the WW1 anniversary of the Princess Mary gift fund issue of gifts to troops in 1914, I thought this small article might interest.

One hundred and seven years on, items in the range of gifts have become a collectable of choice, for those interested in WW1 militaria and militaria in general.

I have handled many as a collector/dealer and seen most, the rarest of the rare being in museums mainly.

Following on….at a militaria fair I attended in the summer of 2019 I found myself discussing the range of gifts with a collector Mr Shadbolt & his wife; his collection containing an item not a gift in the range but a seal as used on the bulk parcels of tins to be delivered to their varying destinations, an item I have never seen before.

The lead seal passes through fairly ‘ordinary’ substantial ‘string’, with a view to binding the parcels making theft of a valuable tobacco cargo not possible.

At the time I must presume most were scrapped, with no thought to save an example for posterity; ‘someone’ had the fore-sight or plain curiosity’s to save one for us to view here.

For me its an extreme rarity, which I have to say I’m pleased to have seen, and glad that it survives to this day !

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