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The Baltimore Sun

Lithographed tin box

Yvette Dardenne, 75, from Belgium, shows a lithographed tin box dating from the 19th century, depicting how the world might look like in the year 2000, which is part of a huge collection displayed at her house in Grand-Hallet, eastern Belgium August 5, 2013. Dardenne, who currently possesses around 56,800 boxes, said her passion started 22 years ago when her aunt gave her a decorated chocolate box from the late 1950s. According to Dardenne, the boxes are like a history book, describing the major events of the last two centuries. In addition to commercials advertising the products they contain, the boxes are often decorated with pictures typical of a certain historic era or describing a historic event such as a royal wedding. Some were also designed to serve as toys or later used for other purposes such as serving as a paper weight. The boxes displayed contained all kind of products such as biscuits, soap, tobacco, tea, and medicine.Yves Herman/Reuters