Vintage toy soldiers guide

It has even been known to eat its way through entire collections. I urge you to get a copy if you can find a back issue. Iron rusts red. Lead rusts white. White or greyish-white powder is a sure sign of lead rot. The afflicted figures will also feel rough to the touch, even where the paint is still intact. And lead rot has a distinctive smell as well. These days, if I am buying an old figure and I suspect lead rot, I always give the knight a sniff or two. I do worry about my Russian figures sometimes, simply because there are so many makers over there, and god knows what sort of metal some of them are using.

Andy Morant Toys

Toy soldiers were the first type of toys to deserve their own series of specialist auctions, starting in Since then, many millions of Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Equipments have changed hands at auction. British made toy soldiers started to be made by William Britains in They swiftly became the most popular soldiers for children to play with not only here in Britain but in the many other countries that they were exported to. My toy soldier auctions are organized around the early, between the world wars and post war periods of Britains hollowcast toy soldier, farm, zoo and garden production.

Also included are the subsequent series of Herald, Swoppet and Deetail plastic toy soldiers as well as the diecast toy soldiers and models for collectors still being produced today.

His company pioneered the use of hollow casting figures in lead, allowing him to The style and scale of Britain’s figures became the standard for toy soldiers. Many of the earliest figures are dated though the dated molds stayed in use after​.

Toy soldiers have come a long way from being just a bit of fun during childhood. They are now a seriously grown-up investment that can fetch thousands of pounds. Model hobby: James Opie has been collecting lead toy soldiers for 60 years. Small military models have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs, but it was only in the late 19th Century that their appeal took off.

This was in when William Britain invented the first hollowed-out, lead-alloy toy soldier for Victorian children. His company produced the first relatively affordable set at a shilling for a red box of nine soldiers, but that was still more than the average worker’s daily wage. James Opie, 65, of Hampstead, northwest London, fell in love with toy soldiers as a child and has been collecting them ever since. Retired magazine editor James says: ‘My interest began as a four-year-old playing with soldiers on the carpet.

The earliest soldiers were beautifully hand-painted and fascinating pieces of history, often reflecting war campaigns of the era. When the second Boer War began in , the Britain company began churning out toy soldiers for propaganda and not just as toys. Unusual and rare figures are particularly sought after as are those celebrating the pomp and ceremony of the British Empire. But later toy soldiers can still be highly collectable, and often more affordable, with top-quality soldiers being made right up until the Sixties.

In William Britain halted production of lead-alloy soldiers when the material was banned for being potentially poisonous. James says: ‘One of my favourites is a Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch set, which first came out in

How to invest in toy soldiers – capture big returns

Grace’s Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains , pages of information and , images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. A: “Britains, Hornsey , London”. Telephone: Hornsey

Without Britains, toy-soldier collectors would have a much heavier load to bear. That’s because BRITAINS Lead Toy Soldier CIRCUS ELEPHANT. $

So just bought this in the lanes in Brighton. Military motorcyclist made by Fry probably in about , maybe later. I have quite a few of these and Fry were small but quite prolific English manufacturer around about the time of WW1. Some figures are quite hard to get but not this one or the often see machine gunners. Originally sold in boxes of I think 6.

Also a khaki version was produced. With a relatively small range of figures they make a nice subject for a cameo collection. Their gentleman in Khaki is possible their best modelled figure, whereas this is rather small scale and solid which means they survive being played with very well. So here we have lying firing machine gunners from Britains set shown with a classic Frederick Whisstock designed original box.

Lead Soldiers

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Fifty years ago these rough-and-ready tin soldiers were sold from bins cheap and by the handful. Today collectors are seeking them for their bright, simple vitality. Sold mainly in the five-and-dime stores, especially the F. Woolworth chain, they came to be known as dime-store soldiers. They were simple and functional, and only rarely did the companies that produced them venture beyond the drab khaki uniform of the twentieth-century combat infantryman.

But the dime-store doughboys made up for their homogenous hue with a vitality found in few other toy soldiers. Until recently dime-store figures were disdained by collectors, who preferred more sophisticated European types. Now, after decades of neglect, they not only have found a following among toy-soldier collectors but are being appreciated by a wider audience as a kind of twentieth-century folk art.

The largest and best known of the dime-store soldier firms was the Barclay Manufacturing Company, named after a street in West Hoboken, New Jersey, where it was founded in They depict American soldiers on the march or in combat. A smaller group of metal figures, representing civilians, included cowboys, ice skaters, railroad passengers, and station personnel. Occasionally the company was influenced by world events: it issued Italian and Ethiopian combatants when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, and Chinese and Japanese soldiers during the Manchurian campaign.

Vintage Figures

Sold Out. William Britain was born in and founded the Britains company in the mid s when he moved from Birmingham to London. Initially just the family members hand produced ingenious mechanical clockwork toys such as a walking bears and penny-farthing riders; but these toys were too expensive to be mass-produced. The big breakthrough was in when William Britain the son of the original founder revolutionized the production of toy soldiers by devising the hollow casting production method, making figures that were cheaper and lighter than their German counterparts.

Britain has been producing toy soldiers and military miniatures with attention to detail, quality The figures we sell come unpainted and are made in metal. note that while we will do our level best to meet these dates, they are estimates only.

See my review. My contact number is: Email: andymoranttoys hotmail. I will put them aside for you to see before anybody else on the day. British army. World armies. Mounted figures. Animal and Civilian figures.

Britains military and other figures, toys and models

These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only. You can reduce the number of items displayed by entering a keyword that must be included in the description of the item. Britains soldiers, W. Britain Premier series, by Charles Biggs, horse drawn G.

Wagon and four man ASC team, set no.

Also a small disclaimer: the people and companies involved in the toy soldier of 54mm± cast metal toy soldiers and figures currently in production. For additional shows and exact show dates you might try (although not always up to date).

This guide is designed to help anyone with an interest in toy soldier collecting so they can discover:. Found in Egyptian tombs dating back to BC, these diminutive soldiers were probably made for ritual purposes rather than as toys. Early figurines were made from wood, porcelain and silver. Initially, these were crafted for generals and monarchs to be used during war-strategy meetings.

In the 18th century, advances in production saw toy soldiers made from tin, lead and composite. Primarily, they were designed for affluent members of society as they could afford hand-made products with fine detailing. These engraved characters were also depicted in silhouette. In the late 19th century, more realistic figurines were produced in ceremonial dress to resemble various European military movements.

These were made by pouring molten lead into a mould.

Dating Lead Toy Soldiers

Hocker, Proprietor. Note: The workshop is back in operation and we can now take orders for things not in stock. Although with Covid cases again rising it may prove be a brief interlude. Here follows a list of resources that may be of use to the collector making a foray into the field. This list concentrates specifically on those resources pertinent to the collector of old or new “54mm” cast metal “toy” figures as distinct from other resources that deal with “military miniatures”, “composition” and plastic figures or with larger scale “dimestore” cast metal figures.

Collecting Toy Soldiers in the 21st Century [Opie, James] on James Opie’s highly popular Collecting Toy Soldiers () was an inspirational book for anyone involved in the hobby. What I had hoped was up to date pictures.

Hi there! Log in Sign up Buy images Sell images. Share Alamy images with your team and customers. Current lightbox. Live chat. Narrow your search:. Cut Outs. Page 1 of 2.

World War I toy soldier

Please note face masks are required to visit the Monadnock Center. We thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe and healthy! Archives Research is now by appointment only.

However, those ancient treasures in terra cotta and lead usually have to be The current market for toy soldiers and other figures dates primarily back to the.

View Basket. Please read my Terms and Conditions before contacting me. Comments “Of course there are a number of traders who specialise in plastics and some who trade in both plastic and metal figures. Thrilled with the contents. Of course, I am still interested in other color configurations. I will continue to check your web site and I’m sure you will be hearing from me. You are a pleasure to do business with. Great web-site as well. These and other testimonials from satisfied customers and comments from visitors to my web site can be found in my guestbook.

Because postage, packing and insurance charges vary depending on the value, weight and size of the items ordered and the destination country, unless otherwise stated, all prices exclude posting, packing and insurance charges. This will be charged at cost and will discussed at the time of ordering. Orders will be despatched via the Royal Mail and I will always endeavour to find the cheapest shipping option. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that all such charges are paid for.

Toy Soldiers

We always enjoy visiting with our collectors, so check out our upcoming events and stop by and see us! Join the William Britain Collectors Club! Search to find an authorized W.

Cheap lead figures from £3 each through to rare figures dating back to (​over years old). Makers include Britains, Mignot, Heyde, Nostalgia, Del Prado to.

Ebay auctions. Gunbroker auctions. Just a bit about English toy maker William Britains. A brief disclaimer Much to the contrary, it started as my notes to myself as a novice learning about these great vintage toys. I am very much a neophyte to hollowcast toy soldiers and welcome comments or additional info to put on this page! His company pioneered the use of hollow casting figures in lead, allowing him to sell his figures more cheaply than his competitors as he used less lead and could ship them more cheaply.

The company quickly surpassed it’s German toy making rivals and was imitated by other companies, such as John Hill and Company JoHill Co.


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