Photo Challenge: Repurpose, Aunt Lil’s Biscuit Barrel

Biscuit Barrel

This is Aunt Lil’s biscuit barrel, at least that is what Aunt Lil called it. Aunt Lil was married to Uncle Arthur and they had no children, so now and again she would distribute her treasures amongst her nieces and nephews. I left England for Switzerland, and married a few years later, but it was just me and Mr. Swiss at the wedding and no members of my family, so no wedding presents at the time.

One day I was visiting my famile in England and Aunt Lil asked if I would like her biscuit barrel. I had no idea what that was, but she said it was made of glass and I could have it. It was not just glass. Aunt Lil never bought rubbish and so this biscuit barrel was a heavy piece of glass, but we made a parcel of many layers of paper and packed it in our case to take back to Switzerland after the holiday. I was sure that this biscuit barrel in its life had never seen a biscuit, or contained one, and so it was when it arrived in our home.

It sat many months on the cupboard and through some sort of special offer in the local supermarket we were collecting marbles with our purchases. I think the idea was to play with these marbles, as they all had a special design on them, but my kids had long grown into adults and grandchildren were not yet on the horizon. Someone had the brilliant idea of putting the marbles in Aunt Lil’s biscuit barrel, which we did. I am not sure but from the weight of this biscuit barrel empty, it might be crystal glass, who knows. Aunt Lil and Uncle Arthur are now long gone, but I have the biscuit barrel in their memory.

Photo Challenge: Repurpose, Aunt Lil’s Biscuit Barrel

20 thoughts on “Photo Challenge: Repurpose, Aunt Lil’s Biscuit Barrel

  1. Not all things need be functional. Humans love beauty and things set out and around a room make it go from functional to home. I love the combination of the faceted glass and the colorful marbles. Hugs

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  2. I have a canister that once held fruitcake in which my Aunt Martha always kept chocolate chip cookies. It’s one of my most precious treasures though objectively I think it’s probably trash. It’s a metal box with embossed cardboard in blue and white to look like Wedgewood.

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  3. Pingback: Repurpose: Solar Power | What's (in) the picture?

  4. I once actually kept tea in a cannister marked “tea” and people were shocked! “You mean, you really have tea in the tea cannister? Wow!” I fixed the problem. Now I keep sweetener in that cannister and tea in a seal light-proof container 🙂 But you’ve given me an idea of what to do with this. I really needed an idea. thanks!

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    • I ordered two special little boxes from Twinings for my favourite tea sorts: a red one for my breakfast tea and a blue one for my milder Lady Grey tea and I love them. They were delivered with tea leaves, but are a perfect size for the tea bags. I also had to study what I had that was not for the original purpose.


  5. Isn’t it wonderful to receive a gift from a beloved family member and a story to go with it? Always the best and most treasured gifts of all. I hope you continue to enjoy Aunt Lil’s biscuit barrel – though I think it’s a real cut crystal canister, and beautiful at that.

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    • Definitely and I so remember my Aunt Lil. She was about two years older than my mum which would mean she was born around 1911. I would pay a visit at least once a week when I was living in England, she lived just opposite to us in our street. It is definitely crystal and very heavy.


  6. She would love that her gift has found a place in your home and that she is still in your memory I’m sure. Here in the states we’d call that cut glass versus crystal, but I think it’s lovely whatever it is!

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  7. Lovely story! The biscuit barrel (cookie jar in my vernacular) reminds me of a cut glass bowl my mother received in the 1940s. I fill it with walnuts in the shell for the holidays.

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    • Biscuit barrel was the word coined by Aunt Lil, she had her own descriptive way of saying things. They are made of the stuff, like your bowl, that survive throuout the years. I have a similar glass dish from my mum.


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