CHIVAS REGAL LIQUOR TINS
More Than a Liquor Tin
by Kay Lewis
(originally printed in the TIN FAX, August, 1994)
What do you see when you look at a liquor tin? These are some of my favorite tins because of the craftsmanship, the colors, the hinged lids, embossing, unusual shapes, and the elegance of gold and silver. But I have one veryspecial liquor tin that has all of those characteristics, and something far more importantto me.
I’m sure many of you have this same tin and maynot have noticed or recognized the significance of the pictures that representencouragement, inspiration, bravery, and perseverance to me. So, have I aroused yourcuriosity? Which liquor tin could possibly impart all of those positive qualities to mylife? It’s the silver Chivas Regal Scotch tin! If you have, go get it, and take a closerlook. If you don’t, then add it to your want list!
It’s a silver coffin-shaped tin with roundedcorners and a hinged lid. The pictures are embossed on all sides and on the lid with blackoutlines. The lettering “CHIVAS REGAL” is white on a red background, as is the”12″ in the “AGED 12 YEARS” statement. The ends depict the Bruce Coatof Arms, and the lid shows an enlarged view of the segments in that Coat of Arms. Thefront and back have three pictures of Robert Bruce; on the left, as a young man during hisearly career; on the right as an old man, after his final battle; and in the center, as adisillusioned, defeated Scottish patriot.
Who was Robert Bruce and what do these pictureson a Scotch tin really mean? Robert Bruce was born in Scotland in 1274 and spent the lastyears of his life trying to free Scotland from English rule. As Earl of Carrick, he hadsworn allegiance to Edward I, King of England, and they remained friendly until 1306. At that time, he began to crusade for Scotland’s independence. His battles against England all met with defeat, until he and his countrymen won the battle at Bannockburn, Scotlandin 1314.
The battle was fought against the English troops of King Edward II, who had 60,000 men, and Scots only 40,000. The Scots stopped the English advance by digging pits along the line of attack.
The English lost 10,000 foot soldiers and 200 knights while the Scots lost only 4,000 men. Robert Burns wrote a poem about the battle,”Bruce to His Men at Bannockburn.
This victory saved Scotland from English rule and won the throne of Scotland for Robert Bruce. It took England 14 more years to finally recognize Scotland’s independence and the right of Bruce to the throne, as King Robert I.This happened in 1328 under the rule of England’s King Edward III. King Robert died about a year later in 1329.
The legend that’s told, and shown on the tin, was during the time that Bruce was hiding from his enemies. While lying in a cave, he sawa spider swinging by one of its threads. It was trying to swing itself from one beam toanother. It tried six times and failed. Bruce realized that he had fought the same numberof battles against the English, and lost. He decided that if the spider tried a seventhtime, and succeeded, he also would try again. The spider’s seventh attempt was successful; Bruce took it to heart and went forward into victory at Bannockburn.
Now that you know the story behind thisbeautiful tin, I hope will see it as I do – not just another pretty liquor tin, but asymbol of hope.
The accounts above are very different from thoseshown in the movie “Braveheart” with Mel Gibson as the Scottish patriot, WilliamWallace, though the timing seems to correspond. The movie begins in 1280 AD as King Edwardthe Longshanks (the 1st ?) has a number of Scottish noblemen slain. William is a young boythen, as must be Robert Bruce. The movie picks up about 15-20 years later as Williamreturns to Scotland and starts a rebellion against the English caretaker Lords.
The movie doesn’t give you a real good idea ofhow much time elapses, but it’s probably over a period of years. The “Bruce” ashe was called in the movie doesn’t get involved in battling the English until afterWallace is betrayed by the Scottish nobles and is executed by the English tyrant.Hollywood and history don’t always jive, but Kay’s accounting and the movie are both veryinteresting.
Some Chivas Regal Tins to Collect
Chivas Regal, Chivas Brothers Ltd., Distillers, Aberdeen, Scotland, silver andblack embossed pictures on all sides and cover, red/white logo, coffin-style cover,hinged, tin contains a plastic form that cradled bottle, UPC paper label on bottom, marked6500105 on bottom, 4 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 10 1/4.
Chivas Regal – round gift tin, silver with heavy embossing.
Chivas Regal – round tin, same as above, much smaller, depicts many of the samepictures as the coffin-style tin does. 9 1/8″ H x 4 1/2″ Dia.
Chivas Regal – big square gift tin – w/silver heavy embossing.
Learn all about ChivasRegal and the company history behind it.