A box of chocolates are to be sold at an Etwall auction house more than 100 years after the original owner, a little girl, refused to eat them – because they were too "pretty".
Eileen Margaret Elmes, born on November 17, 1907, received a box of Little Red Riding Hood Pascall's Chocolate Novelties for Christmas between 1910 and 1914, when she was between the ages of three and seven.
But the London youngster thought the chocolates were so beautiful that she couldn't eat them, and kept them until the day she died, at the age of 99 in 2007.
Even to this day, the now inedible treats are still immaculate, without a single bite taken out of them.
Now Eileen's niece, who has asked to remain anonymous, has decided to sell them at Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall in the hope somebody else might appreciate them.
The seller said: "My aunt told me she couldn’t eat the chocolates because they were so pretty and beautifully wrapped, even though she loved chocolate.
"The chocolates were so special to her she wanted other people to see them and asked me if I could do anything about it.
"She hoped a museum would buy them, perhaps a chocolate museum, so they could be on display."
The chocolate treats could be purchased and used as a Christmas gift once again, with the auction taking place on Tuesday, December 19, with an estimate price of between £70 and £100.
Based on the Little Red Riding Hood theme, the box includes four fairytale figurines of chocolate based on Little Red Riding Hood, dressed in a red bonnet, clock and frock, a baby in a cradle with a blanket, a man in a blue sailor suit and a lady in bonnet and dress.
All of the clothing is made of paper, while the chocolate figures sit on shredded paper.
Pascall's Chocolates was founded by James Pascall in 1866. Mr Pascall worked as an agent for Cadbury's before setting up his own business in London with his brother Alfred.
Charles Hanson, the owner of the Etwall auction house, Hansons Auctioneers said: "I am sure chocoholics everywhere will be fascinated by this discovery – though they may shy away from the thought of eating one.
"It's a magical Christmas story. To think that this little girl loved her special box of chocolates so much she couldn't bear to eat them – or part with them.
"Chocolate is very much a part of our Christmas celebrations and many of us eat far too much of it. This is a humble reminder that in days gone by people appreciated and valued things far more than some of us do today."
The box of chocolates will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, on Heage Lane in Etwall on Tuesday, December 19. Anybody interested in finding out more can email arathbone@hansonauctioneers or call 01283 733988.