17 pictures of wonderful old Terry’s chocolate boxes. Do you remember any of them?

The Animal Friends range were for the younger chocoholic, and no doubt his or her parents too…
Spartan was all hard centres. The box features a typical art deco style image
Spartan was all hard centres. The box features a typical art deco style image. Photographs (unless otherwise stated) © National Trust Images / Karen Shead
Designs of Distinction exhibition

Goddards House and Garden, 27 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1GG

From Weds Jul 15, 2015; house opened Wed-Sun

Adult: £5, child £2.50

Goddards website

This marvellous array of chocolate boxes shows how much care went into the design of Terry’s packaging.

The pictures show some of the exhibits in an exhibition which began on Wednesday, July 15 at Goddards, once the home of Terry’s managing director Noel Terry.

Ten years on from the closure of the Terry’s York factory, Designs Of Distinction charts the company’s chocolate history from its origins in 1767 to the present day.

It showcases some of Terry’s most famous products – as well as also some of its most unusual.

Some of the boxes on display are works of art
Some of the boxes on display are works of art
The velour "fancy boxes" hail from the company's 1920s and 1930s heyday
The velour “fancy boxes” hail from the company’s 1920s and 1930s heyday

Noel Terry was in charge during the 1920s and 1930s when the Terry’s business was in its heyday and some of the most famous Terry products were created such as the chocolate orange and All Gold chocolates.

He was very proud of the company’s packaging. The company’s 1930 product catalogue opens with the words:

The purchaser of today expects a chocolate box to be worthy of the confections it contains – in distinction of design and harmony of colours, it must reflect the quality of the chocolates within.
You can see that this box of mint crisps included a business-card-sized compliments slip from Terry's
You can see that this box of mint crisps included a business-card-sized compliments slip from Terry’s

Designs Of Distinction also tells some of the stories of the people behind the packaging.

The packers were essential before automated machinery took over, and some of the factory’s finest worked for over 50 years at Terry’s.

Although Thistle doesn't sound very appetising, unless you're Eeyore, it was a famous Terry's range
Although Thistle doesn’t sound very appetising, unless you’re Eeyore, it was a famous Terry’s range
Commemorating the year Terry's was established, 1767 was an iconic range of the finest plain chocolates
Commemorating the year Terry’s was established, 1767 was an iconic range of the finest plain chocolates. A Café Au Lait selection box can be seen in the background
This fancy assortment is pictured next to a photo of Noel Terry, who oversaw the business during its boom years and was responsible for the well-loved All Gold and Chocolate Orange products
This fancy assortment is pictured next to a photo of Noel Terry, who oversaw the business during its boom years and was responsible for the well-loved All Gold and Chocolate Orange products
These rather nifty drawers once held Devon Milk chocolates
These rather nifty drawers once held Devon Milk chocolates
Plenty of room for lots of hard and soft centres in this beautiful velour box
Plenty of room for lots of hard and soft centres in this beautiful velour box
Another example of the 1767 range
Another example of the 1767 range

Terry’s chocolates were enjoyed by all, but were expensive, niche and fine quality chocolates.

The company supplied chocolates to the Queen and during the packing process an official would come to oversee the packing and the doors would be locked to make sure the chocolates would not be contaminated.

Two more assortments from the glory days of chocolate boxes
Two more assortments from the glory days of chocolate boxes
We remember the Carousel mix of chocs and sweets
We remember the Carousel mix of chocs and sweets

Part of the display encourages you to be inspired by the Terry’s designs and create your own perfect chocolate box to take home and use.

And on selected days there will be bite-sized chocolate talks to give a deeper insight into the confectionery firm through the ages.

Not as famous – or long lasting – as their Rowntree cousins, Terry's Pastilles reflect the fact that the business began by producing fruit drops
Not as famous – or long lasting – as their Rowntree cousins, Terry’s Pastilles reflect the fact that the business began by producing fruit drops
The Animal Friends range were for the younger chocoholic, and no doubt his or her parents too…
The Animal Friends range were for the younger chocoholic, and no doubt his or her parents too…

Clare Fletcher, head of site at Goddards said:

We are very excited to be showing some of the best known but also very unusual Terry’s chocolate boxes. A personal favourite of mine is the Terry’s chocolate animals box.

It’s fascinating to see the difference in detail to today’s packaging and a good chance to spot one of your old favourites and reminisce about which Terry’s chocolates you enjoyed the most.

A Scottie dog decorates this selection box
A Scottie dog decorates this selection box
The Terry's designers didn't shirk on ornamentation
The Terry’s designers didn’t shirk on ornamentation
The exhibition includes the last Terry's Chocolate Orange that was produced at the York factory. Photograph © National Trust images
The exhibition includes the last Terry’s Chocolate Orange that was produced at the York factory. Photograph © National Trust images

18 thoughts on “17 pictures of wonderful old Terry’s chocolate boxes. Do you remember any of them?

  1. I loved 1767 chocolates in the three drawer casket. Each Christmas from around 1957 my mother gave me a box. From 1962 my husband took over, and eventually from 1984 or thereabouts it was my son’s turn. I still have the last casket I received (empty of chocolates of course).

    1. I had the same wonderful mother who bought me Terry’s chocolates. Then my darling husband took over but found it more and more difficult to find them. Spartan were my favourites because I wasn’t keen on soft cream centres. Great memories but what a shame they are all history only now.

  2. Just been reminiscing with my mother-in-law about chocolates of our younger years and we both agree that the best box of chocolates ever was the Terry’s Spartan Chocolate box; there’s nothing like it available today so why not bring it back!

  3. I was always bought All Gold by a boyfriend at Christmas time back in the 1970s, Box was very similar to velour box in example photo being held with blue gloves, but I seem to remember it was a gold damask gold thread padded box with red inside.

  4. Our Christmas favourites in the eighties were Terry’s “Walls of York “which came in a luxurious box with (I think)three red tasseled drawers. We also loved the 1767 assortment . I still have the box with three drawers edged with gold paper which now holds all my store of buttons. Happy Days!!! At least we can still get All Gold as I too am not fond of foreign chocolates which do n’t have the same crisp dark shell and soft centres and are very gooey in comparison. Long live British Chocolates especially Terry’s All Gold !

  5. Please can you tell me why you no longer make Spartan chocolates anymore…..I can’t be the only customer that doesn’t like ‘soft’ chocolates.I miss them terribly.

      1. Wish you could get spartan hard centres now loved them. Cannot find any boxes of hard centres now and not keen on soft centres why don t companies like Terry’s make them.

    1. yeah – spartan are great – the only one I can find these days are Riesens from Germany but they are nothing on Terry’s spartans. I cannot understand how so many excellent products were dropped.

  6. this is just a suggestion i love the white chocolates in the assorted box but you don’t do a white chocolate orange. I think at this time a year you could make one and play on a snowball theme

    1. They did do White Choc Orange for Woolworths one Christmas. Sales were so high they introduced them the following year but didnt use the same Chocolate and guessing the customers didnt like the cheaper tat

  7. Christmas is the time to remember the chocolates that were a must have at this time of year. Terry’s 1767 and Terry’s Neapolitans are but two. I am fed up with overseas companies buying British ones and ruining the uniqueness of choice that we had. They all seem the same now whatever the brand probably because there are fewer companies to compete for anything different.

  8. Dear sir
    What has happened to Terry’s chocolates they have been got smaller but remained the same price a friend of ours is furious about this it is tant amount to fraud and as a result of this she is not going to buy Terry’s chocolate anymore. G. Tooley

  9. I have an empty chocolate box which is different to any you have shown, and I would like to know what year it was in production. Please send me an email address so I can send photos of it. Thank you. Jane Wickson.

  10. Could you possibly tell me when the box for the 1767 collection went on sale (as the photo you have in the examples, below the velour box that someone is holding with blue gloves) ?
    I have one of these from being a little girl. The chocolates are long gone & it holds my Christmas tree fairy doll which I get out each year!!!

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