An Easter egg given to a two-year-old girl in 1924, which she then treasured for the rest of her life, has found a new home in a museum.
The near-century-old chocolate gift, wrapped up as a doll inside an egg-shaped decorative casing, was auctioned last Friday with a guide price of £200 to £300.
Derbyshire-based auction house Hansons said Bygones in Torquay, Devon, had beaten off competition from internet and phone bidders to secure the egg for £1,040, including a buyer’s premium payment.
Hansons had described the rare Pascall’s egg, discovered by one of its valuers during a routine home visit in Hulland Ward, Derbyshire, as being “in impressive condition” given its age.
The lot, which still smells of chocolate, was made by James Pascall Ltd, of Mitcham, south London, and given to Christine Lilian Metcalf by her aunt in 1924.
Relatives said Christine, who died in 2019 aged 97, could not bring herself to eat the egg because she loved the doll so much.
Her children said before the sale that they wanted to see the egg go to a museum or a collector who would also treasure it.
Bygones, which is temporarily closed due to Covid lockdown measures, will add the egg to its collection of unusual historical items, including a Christmas pudding dating back to 1900.
Richard Cuming, a partner in St Marychurch-based Bygones, which features a life-size Victorian street, said: “We’re always looking for unusual items to add to our displays and were particularly drawn to the back story and the fact this Easter egg has survived and remained uneaten for nearly 100 years.
“Being able to add details of its original owner and why it was never eaten adds another dimension.
“Christine obviously treasured her Pascall’s chocolate egg from her Aunty Poll and having survived World War Two and ten house moves, it’s appropriate that it should be on public display for everyone to enjoy.”
Mr Cuming added: “The egg and story will have its own separate display case which will be in place for when we are able to reopen on May 17.
“It’s simply too interesting just to be brought out once a year at Easter and we hope the family will be able to visit us to see its new home.”
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said of the sale: “It’s a cracking result for a cracking find.
“One of our valuers, Karl, came across the egg during a routine home visit and immediately knew it was something special.”