Easter egg untouched for 85 years goes on sale after owner kept it safe during WW2

By Staff

A woman managed to keep a chocolate Easter egg in pristine condition for 85 years, and now her children are selling it at auction- and the estimated price may surprise you

When face to face with a tasty chocolate Easter egg, most people would struggle to keep it intact for more than eight seconds – but one woman kept her confectionery egg in pristine condition for a whopping 85 years.

Sybil Cook was given the chocolate treat in 1939 when she was just nine years old, and her uncle told her to savour every mouthful as the threat of war was looming, and rationing would be in place.

However, Sybil chose not to take a single bite, despite her loving chocolate, and she kept the unopened egg for the duration of WW2, and for the rest of her life.

Sybil, of Neath, South Wales, died at the age of 91 in 2021, and the ‘Mary Mary Quite Contrary’-themed egg in blue and white paper remained intact. Touchingly, the box, which is complete with a decorative garden scene of a little girl with a watering can, still has her name on it, written in pencil, and the year 1939.

Now, as a tribute to Sybil, her family are parting with the Easter egg to celebrate their mother’s life. The vintage chocolate is set to be auctioned at Hansons Auctioneers with an estimate of between £300 and £500.

One of Sybil’s two daughters, Gill Bolter, 62, revealed how her mum kept the egg on a shelf in her bedroom for 60 years before it was handed down to her, stating that her “mum loved life and chocolate.”

Explaining the moment her mum was gifted the egg, she said: “With war looming her uncle said, ‘You be careful with that my girl, there might not be any chocolate around soon’. He told her to ration it. Amazingly, she was so disciplined and respectful to her elders she never ate a single piece. When we asked mum how she’d managed to keep the egg for so long she told us that, having kept it throughout the war, it didn’t seem right to eat it.

“She scratched a bit of the paper off the front when she was little, just to check there was chocolate behind it. It was very precious to her. Having kept it safe through her childhood she took it with her when she left home to get married in 1955 and for 60 years had it tucked away on a shelf in her bedroom in Bilton Road in Neath.

“The egg then ended up in a cupboard in my bedroom. After we lost her one of the care home nurses wrote a lovely tribute. She said, ‘I would offer her a piece of chocolate after her evening medication. She’d always smile mischievously at me and say, ‘Why not? It’s the best medicine after all’.”

Gill said that her Easter egg “brings back happy memories” for her, and said that it would “be lovely if the egg went to a museum.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “The story surrounding this Easter egg melted my heart. It’s a wonderful reminder of wartime austerity, respectful obedience and a little girl who was so strict with herself that she would not allow herself this treat.

“Food rationing lasted for 14 years in Britain, from 1940 until 1954 – nearly 10 years after the war ended. Sybil’s egg is a reminder of those difficult days. She came from a generation who understood hardship and cherished and appreciated the smallest things.”

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