Eley percussion cap tins with raised lettering

Anyone know when the Eley tins with the raised letttering were produced?

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Sorry can’t help with the time, but you should be aware some of the brass topped one like yours (upper right) have been faked.

I was not aware of that. This one came from a friend’s grandfathers gun collection that was assembled before 1900, so I have no doubts that the tin is correct. Sad to say, the friend had no interest in the collection and sold most of it back before I had the means to afford any of the guns. I was able to get the Eley tin, a few Winchester .44 WCF boxes and some great Sears & Roebuck Pointer brand shotshell boxes.

Hi Guy.
The Eley London tins were used from 1837 until mid 1930’s. The Eley Bros. London tins date from 1850, when Eley became EleyBros., until mid 1930’s.
The brass top tin is about 1850’s to 1890 or thereabouts.
Hope this helps.
I would be interested in the brass top tin if available. PM me.

Do you think the ELEY LONDON and ELEY BROS LONDON tins with the raised letters would have been made after the 1880s?

Hi Guy.
I don’t know for sure but into the teens or 20’s. I will dig out my Eley
catalogues and see what I can find and let you know.



I had a look through all the catalogues I have and very few have pictures of the cap tins in so that one could be sure, the 1925 Nobel’s catalogue show a picture of a tin that I assume is the raised stamping but as my catalogue is a copy it is hard to say if the tin has stamping on it or not. I am like Will I thought that that style of tin continued through to the early 1930’s but would be happy to be corrected on that.


I must correct myself.

With a little digging, I found that the EB caps were offered into the 30’s with the ICI catalogue. However, it doesn’t picture the tin. Currently I have misplaced my percussion cap file. When I find it, I may have more information in there (it’s a very thick file). When I do, I will post whatever information I can find. So to reiterate:
EB caps were offered from 1837 until approx. 1930’s. Nearly 100 years. The tins with the raised lettering date from 1837 until ?. I confused EB caps with the Embossed tins even though the Embossed tins are in fact EB caps. My error.
The cased sample cases of Eley cap tins, which date from the late 1870’s and early 1880’s do not have the tin with the embossed lid. However, that doesn’t mean much. These tins were supplied in huge numbers to both sides in the US Civil War. They are also one of the most commonly encountered tins.

Hi Guy.

I stand corrected. EB caps were offered until the mid 1930’s. I have to do more digging to see when they stopped offering the tins with the raised tops. I have some later EB tins that don’t have the embossed tops. So far I have not been able to find the file I am looking for (my cap tin file). I will see if I can narrow it down for you if I can. At that time, I will email you again and I will update my post now and then.

I should have checked some more before I replied.



Thank you, Will. The reason for my question was to determine if these very plain raised letter tins are approximate for the cased percussion Colts. I have seen lots of them in cased sets, but have always wondered if they were actually correct.

You might want to obtain a copy of: Colt Percussion Accoutrements 1834-187. by Robin Rapley, Graphic Publishers, CA, 1994.

He carefully documented cased Colt firearms & it has photo’s for help with the descriptions.

Hi Guy.

A question I know a lot about!!! Yes these were appropriate for a cased set. However, you want a tin that is mint if possible. Also bear in mind that this was Eley’s lowest grade (and cheapest). Apparently they worked well since they sold Billions (yes, with a B) of these caps. Your tin with the raised brass top is the one that would have been in a nice cased Colt set. These were the best quality and if you had a London Colt, this would definately be in the case. There were a lot of other Eley tins that have turned up in cased Colts. Eley and most other makers of the era produced Colt tins (which I am sure you have or have seen). They also made tins for Remington, Starr and Adams pistols. These all date from the 1850/60 period although Eley kept making them into at least 1890.

Personally, I would only put a paper label tin or brass top tin back into a cased Colt. Just my bias.

Most cased Colts have the wrong tins. That is because the original cap tin was used up and thrown away and replaced. OR some enterprising cap tin collector (like me) has come by and bought the cap tin out of the case and the case owner has just stuffed a tin in. 90% of the time, I can tell a stuffed tin. I have many pickers who will do this for me (if you collect cased Colts, I probably shouldn’t tell you that…).

Is there anything interesting in Vic’s latest auction that you can’t live without? There are 6 that I will be going after in this one.th

I forgot to ask; is there a side label on you brass embossed top Eley tin?



Here are the side labels.

And nearly full.

Hi Guy,

What is the I.D of the #11 caps.


0.167” to 0.168”

Thank you