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The Baltimore Sun

Virgin Mary tins

Vintage lithographed tin boxes depicting images of the Virgin Mary are displayed as part of a huge collection at the house of Yvette Dardenne, 75, from Belgium in Grand-Hallet, eastern Belgium August 5, 2013. Dardenne, who currently possesses about 56,800 boxes from around the world, 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