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Old Sugar Canister

Posted by slowhike (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 0:46

I'm hoping Some of you folks might be able & willing to fill me in on this old canister.
It says "SUGAR The Finest Quality Of Cuba"
See link to pictures below.

I've done quite a bit of searching on line & found other canisters like this (& similar), but not finding the answers to some of my main questions.
I'm not seeing much in the way of prices that might be commonly asked for it.
Of course another big question is "What is it made of?"
I see at least one listed as silver, others listed a brass, nickle, etc.
From it's look, I'm thinking it might be silver, but I'm not sure of a safe way to test or clean it.
I would assume cleaning it would be a first step.

I've been unemployed for just over a year & things are really starting to get tough, so I'm finding anything in the attic, basement, shed, etc that might be of some value.
Unfortunately, taking these things to an appraiser (who is going to charge for their advice) is not an option.
So hopefully some of the fine folks here can share a few words of wisdom.
Thanks. ...Tim

Here is a link that might be useful: Picasa Web Album


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Old Sugar Canister

What does it say on the bottom?
Start by cleaning it with something like Wright's silver polish.
If you really are trying to sell it it will bring more clean than dirty.
It appears to be a container that sugar was sold in....never saw one in silverplate....but who knows.
Linda C


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

It doesn't say anything on the bottom. I'll try to find some silver polish & start on the bottom.
If it were some other type metal, I don't guess the silver polish will do it any harm?


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

It may be lacquered....in which case you will need to remove all the lacquer before it will polish well.
If you have some stubborn spots, rub with a little nail polish remover.


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

Could it be hotel plate from a now-gone Havana hotel? Or from a sugar manufacturer?


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

I had a small set tea/coffee/sugar that I purchased at a gift store. They were not antique nor old that looked exactly like that around 1994.
Got rid of them because they tarnished like all get out!


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

Hi slowhike

Found your posting while searching for info on Cuban Sugar Canisters. I have one just like yours. It is not silver but an ally over copper. Mine is 4 in high & 4.5 wide. I took it to Christies, the big auction house in Amsterdam ('cos that's where I live) and they said it dated from around 1936. About 5 years ago when I took it they valued it at around 80 USD due to the interest component and not the metal value, which is of course lower, not being silver. Mine is in slightly better condition than yours.
Do you still have yours or did you sell it? I see your posting is a year ago. Hope things are going better for you now.


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

Tim, was wondering if you ever found out anymore about your canister? I have one exactly like it.


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

It appears like the can in which the sugar was sold. It was put in a nice enough container to use on the table or for storage around the cooking area. I am suspecting it is tin plate over steel.

Test it with a magnet. If it is magnetic, then the base material is most likely steel. If it is not magnetic, then you have a container that is more valuable than an ordinary "tin can".

The fact that it touts Cuban sugar puts the date before the Cuban Communist Revolution. I've seen containers with this lid design in old country stores.

My guess:

It was a nice container filled with sugar and could have been a gift item. It may date to the 1930s. It was intended to be used around the cooking area. That "paint can" friction lid is not designed for frequent table use. The lid is too difficult to open.

Bulk sugar in 5, 10, and 20 lbs sizes came in bags. Sometines, the smaller lots came in metal cans.

Early (pre 1900) sealed, metal cans for food were tin plated, thus the term, "Tin Can". Tin was one of the metals safe for contact with many foods. However, early on it became obvious that tin was too expensive and soon other coatings were sought, but the term "tin can" lived on.


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RE: Old Sugar Canister

It was most likely a tourist souvenir of a visit to Havana when it was a mad gambling tourist resort, just a few miles by boat from Miami.


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