Antique collectors find chest lined with copies of the Mercury

Photo:SM280312-001ow'Moira Niedzwiecka with her Victoria pine blanket box lined with copies of the Mercury from the 1890s.
Photo:SM280312-001ow'Moira Niedzwiecka with her Victoria pine blanket box lined with copies of the Mercury from the 1890s.

ANTIQUES collectors were left amazed when they discovered an old chest lined with copies of the Mercury dating back to the 19th century.

Moira and Henry Niedzwiecka, who live in Main Street, Pickwell, Leicestershire, came across the Victorian pine blanket box at an antiques fair in Lincoln.

But it was not until they opened it up at their restoration workshop Lavender Cottage Antiques in Pickwell, that they realised it was lined with pages of the Rutland and Stamford Mercury from the 1890s.

The couple buy and restore antique furniture and were both fascinated by their finding.

Moira, 49, said: “We bought it from the fair but it wasn’t until we got back to the workshop that we realised what it was lined with.

“We opened it up and it was just lined with the newspaper articles.

“It was just lovely and really interesting looking at the old print.

“It was very decorative and just fascinating.

“It’s amazing to think it was lined with it all those years ago and it’s been there ever since.

“These sort of boxes are usually lined with decorative pieces and newspaper print but we’ve never had anything that’s been local before.”

The lining has been kept in good condition by its previous owners.

The newspaper articles include illustrations of Victorian furniture, and a story and drawing of Queen Victoria.

Moira said: “It’s really interesting because you can make out what the stories are.

“There are a lot of illustrations of Victorian furniture, drawings and story about Queen Victoria, and it’s all dated throughout the 1890s.

“It’s fascinating looking at it all.”

The pair are now looking to restore the box before putting it up for sale in Rutland Antiques Centre in High Street East, Uppingham,

Moira added: “It will probably go on sale for about £200 after it’s been restored.

“We hope that whoever buys it keeps it in good condition, especially the interior lining.”