• Image of 'Sweethearts'
  • Image of 'Sweethearts'

The Halifax confectionery manufacturers Riley Brothers Limited, was founded by Fred Riley and his brother J. H. Riley in 1907. Riley's was most famous for their Toffee Rolls, which came in 7 flavours: original creamy, fig, date, liquorice, golden cream, rum & butter, and mint & butter.

The toffee's were originally produced in the humble beginnings of the family home until their success lead them to acquire a factory, known as The Kingston Toffee Mills, in Hopwood Lane, in 1911.

When J. H. Riley died in 1953 the company was bought by Nuttall's. It was later bought by the Guinness Group and then by Callard & Bowser. Then in 1988 by United Biscuits / McVities and finally by the US giant, Kraft. In 2008 Freya Sykes; a niece of the founders of Riley's Toffee, started Ella Riley Ltd, acquiring the rights to the original toffee recipe from Ella's 'Economical Recipe Book'.

Inspired by the two young 'Sweethearts' depicted on this Riley's tin, who share toffee's together while on their sailing travels, they are accompanied by a wind-up music box, which plays the popular Spanish tune called "La Paloma".

Written by the Spanish composer Sebastián Iradier, after he visited Cuba in 1861, "La Paloma" belongs to a genre of songs called "Habaneras"; a musical style, developed in 19th-century Spain, characteristic for the fusion of Cuban songs, that Spanish sailors brought back with them from their travels to the island.

The motif behind "La Paloma"; which translates to 'the dove', is believed to be traced back to an episode that occurred in 492 BC,
before Darius' invasion of Greece, a time when the white dove had not yet been seen in Europe. A Persian fleet under Mardonius was caught in a storm off the shore of Mount Athos and wrecked, where the Greeks observed white doves escaping from the sinking Persian ships. This inspired the notion that such birds bring home a final message of love from a sailor who has been lost at sea.

Dimensions: H 61cm W 25cm D 20cm

Mixed Media:
Vintage Composition Dolls,
Vintage 'Rileys' Toffee Tin,
Vintage Copper Funnel,
Vintage Copper Posser,
Vintage Dariole Tins,
Vintage Loaf Tin
Vintage Wind-Up Music Box Playing 'La Paloma',
3 x E10 LED Cabachon Lamps,
1 x 18W 24V LED Transformer
3 Core Gold Silk Covered Flexible Cable,
Junction Box,
Tough Plug fitted with a 3 Amp Fuse,
Threaded Bar,
Various Nuts, Bolts, and Washers,
PAT Tested.

Overseas Enquiries:

For an overseas shipping quote please contact me by email

Also note - as these sculptures operate on UK voltage (220-240 V 50 Hz) you will need a voltage converter to use them overseas.

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