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Last updated November 2005

In his unique and immensely valuable book "THE PRICE GUIDE TO BLACK AND WHITE POT-LIDS" ISBN
1 85149 008 6 first published in 1977 Ronald Dale lists more than 2300 potlids approximately 1264 of which are diagrams taken from a manufacturers catalogue.

In the ensuing 25 years diggers and collectors world-wide have probably "unearthed" more than 1000 additional previously unrecorded lids.

Generally speaking the more decorative and colorful a lid, the more collectable and pricy it becomes and its value is certainly not established by its rarity as some lids of which only one example is known are not even worth a second glance.

To place some perspective on this branch of collecting, the most commonly found lid in South Africa is the White Rose Paste of S. Maw which can be easily purchased in antique shops, at antique fairs, or from collectors for as little as R 200. South Africa's scarcest and most prized lid of which only 3 examples are known is pictured below. A perfect specimen, dug in Pretoria fetched £ 1400 at auction in the U.K. during July 1999.

The following are some of the more interesting and ornate British Lids dug in South Africa.

As of September 2003 we have added a new feature which enables you to find out more about certain lids... simply hold your mouse over an image to see if more information is available.

Where applicable the manufacturers name is used for alphabetical positioning making it more easy to see how many lids are attributable to any given manufacturer.

Tooth Paste




This potlid fetched a world record price of £1400 at auction in the U.K. in July 1999.

Two of only 3 recorded S.A. dug examples were taken from a Pretoria dump within a week of each other!


Vinola Toothpaste. This lid is found in Green, Blue and Pink.

The only oblong lid with champhered corners. From the Mitty Leroux Heyns Collection.

This product was manufactured for export to the colonies and is only dug in SA and Australia.

Highly Desired by British collectors, virtually all dug examples known come from Kimberley.

Probably the lid with the most wrting. 61 words... count them!

Areca Nut Toothpaste
Commans Bath

Army & Navy Co-operative

Benbow & Sons

Cherry Paste Extra Moist
Breidenbach & Co London

My first lid bought for R3 20 years ago

White Rose Toothpaste
Breidenbach & Co London.W.

T.F. Bristow

The detail on this lid is so fine that one can read the writing on the billboard.

Burgoyne. Burbidges & Co

A very scarce blue lid, physically  identical to John Gosnell

F.S. Cleavers

Crown Perfumery Co

Cherry Tooth Paste
The Crown Perfumery Co.

Crown Perfumery Co

One of few lids with matching base. The Medal pictured says 1862 / londini / honouris / causa

Douglas Perfumer
With Matching Base.


Foreign & Colonial Drug Co


This lid was found right next to a green 1oz Gibertson Wedge Poison!!!

H. Gilbertson & Sons

What makes these potlids unique is the matching marbling effect on rim and base

Oriental Toothpaste
Jewsbury & Brown Ardwick Green

Oriental Toothpaste
Jewsbury & Brown 113 Market Str


John Gosnell & Co produced these two miniature lids c1895. The one on the left is 36mm and the one on the right which is 33mm diam. belongs to Fiona Yagmoor and is a superb example of the early transfer manufacturer's craftsmanship. We have enlarged these lids to show the intricate detail.

John Gosnell & Co

John Gosnell & Co

Althoughfairly common in South Africa these lids depicting a young (and pretty) victoria are highly sought after overseas

John Gosnell & Co

John Gosnell & Co Ltd

John Gosnell & Co Ltd

White Rose Tooth Paste
Hawley London & Liverpool

Heynes Tooth Paste.

Although not very scarce one of the U.K's most sought after lids.


White Rose Paste
La Roche Et Cie London & Paris.

Lorimer & Co Perfumer

The detail on this stunning and exceptional lid is so clear that one can read the words Lorimer & Co. on a powder box on the dressing table!

Lorimer & Co

A Kimberley dug lid. Spectacular and extremely unusual with overglaze applied raised white liliac "flowers" with green leaves in a brick red pot.

Lynch & Co Ltd

F. Newberry were established in 1746. This lid was issued in 1884  to commemorate the London Health Exhibition.

F. Newberry & Sons

F. Newberry & Sons

South Africas most commonly dug potlid but do not under estimate as it still changes hands for up to  R 300

White Rose Paste
S. Maw Son & Thompson.

S. Maw. Son & Thompson


A large and unusual coloured lid bearing ten different typefaces. S 75 Ronald Dale.

E. Rimmel

Rimmels Cherry Toothpaste
There are 4 different transfers.

Saponaceous Tooth Powder.


Message: Please we are urgently looking for a matching base for our potlid. Must be 64 or 65mm in diameter. Will pay any reasonable price or maybe swap?

Swintons English Primrose Toothpaste.


White Rose Tooth Paste

D. Wrights

Other Products

(Ointments, Cold Creams, Meat & Fish Paste And Shaving Cream)

James Atkinsons Bears Grease

Blondeau & Cie

T.F. Bristow

Highly Perfumed Bears Grease

Grant & Co

J. Grossmith rose cold cream


Mrs Ellen Hales celebrated heal-all ointment


Holloways ointment 5/-


Price & Co

Russian Bear's

Dr Showers Radium Salve

Vinolia Co Ltd

Whitaker Limited


Wright & Co