I have been collecting tins since the 1980's. Collecting was so different and so much more challenging before the internet. With so many different types of tins, I specialised mainly in cigarette and tobacco tins featuring lithograph pictures, from the period of the late 1890's to about the 1930's. To me they all tell interesting social stories of their day and I find them fascinating.
In 2013 I found myself in Japan and was delighted to discover that flea markets and antique fairs were held regularly all over the country and the Japanese had a great respect for items of the past. You can imagine my delight when I went to an antique fair with 500 dealers from all over Japan and I saw a whole range of collectibles I was not so familiar with. But I still knew a good tin when I saw one!
The Golf tin you can see above is the first gramophone needle tin I found in Japan. It was actually the golfing theme that first caught my eye and then the detail of the image on such a small tin, but I knew nothing at all about gramophone needle tins. That was then and it's been an amazing journey ever since. I now have over 300 beautiful needle tins in my collection, all of which I sourced in Japan where I spend 100's of hours searching and have met some fascinating people. Whilst some tins in my collection were not made in Japan, I found them there, so they too would have an interesting story to tell if they could.
I am often asked how I got started collecting these little wonders of the world so I thought I would share this story with you. The GOLF needle will always hold a very special place in my collection.