Name/TitleWWI Christmas Gift: Presented by Princess Mary to troops, 1914.
About this objectA brass tin with bullet pencil sent by Princess Mary to members of the British, Colonial and Indian forces for Christmas, 1914. The tins were filled with such items as tobacco, sweets, spices, and pencils along with a Christmas Card from the Princess Mary. Over 426,000 tins were sent to those serving on Christmas Day, 1914.
the idea was the initiative of Princess Mary, the 17 year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The Princess organised a public appeal to raise funds to ensure every sailor and soldier would receive a Christmas present.
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How to cite this page: 1900-853-001, URL: http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3188/object/547850, updated 11 August, 2015]
Medium and MaterialsThe tin is made of brass. The bullet pencil is made from sterling silver and the shell is made from brass. The bullet is similar in style to a 303 bullet. Inside the bullet is a pencil.
Inscription and MarksThe tin is embossed with the profile portrait of Princess Mary surrounded by a wreath. The letter 'M' is embossed on either side of the wreath in cursive script. A decorative border around the lid contains the words 'Imperium Britannicum' (top) and 'Christmas 1914' (bottom). The corners and sides of the tin contain names of Britain's allies. the tin is decorated with flags, ships and weapons.
Engraved on the bullet is the letter 'M' with a crown above it denoting Princess Mary.
MeasurementsTin - 3cm (height) x 13cm (length) x 8.5cm (width)
Bullet - 8.5cm (length) x 1cm (diameter)
Subject and Association KeywordsWWI Personal Items
Object TypeCeremonial Artifact