BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)
***Please use full byline***
Early selection boxes included luxury items like clocks as well as chocolate.
A fascinating archive of vintage selection boxes have emerged to reveal how the common stocking filler was once a luxurious present that families would save all year for.
The assorted chocolate packs were launched by Rowntrees in the 1920s after the success of their Christmas hampers.
They were considered as extremely extravagant gifts with an early box from 1927 costing 10 shillings, the equivalent of one weeks rent for a poor, working class family.
The boxes contained some of the first chocolate bars invented by the company that are no longer in existance, including Nut Cracknel, Cream Tablette, and Motoring bars.
Families began putting aside money throughout the year to afford the must-have gifts, which became more extravagant as their popularity grew.
Rowntrees provided newsagents and grocery shops with special Christmas Club Cards which buyers used to pay weekly installments towards the selection boxes.
In the 1930s Rowntrees began adding novelty items to the packs such as vases, carriage clocks, and cutlery sets, which acted as keepsakes once the chocolate had been eaten.
They ranged in price from 2 shillings and six pence up to 10 shillings depending on the size of the enclosed gift.