The Art of the Tin Toy

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

“The Art of the Tin Toy” by David Press-land. 224 pp. 10 3/4 in. x 12 3/4 in. (New Cavendish Books, 65, Marylebone High Street, London, W1M 3AH. £19.50.)

This is perhaps the most magnificent “correctable” book of them all (but if a table is for coffee why load it with tomes ?). It is alluring, beautiful, a splendid piece of publishing and top-class art-work. But beyond that, the accuracy of the information which the long captions to the hundreds of colour and black and white pictures convey about toys of all kinds, nationalities and periods, is truly commendable. Our interest is in the cars, naturally, but I confess to glancing at the aeroplanes, boats, and trains on the way. .. .

It is fascinating to find how many toy cars, from very early times, were available, racers as well as the more prosaic sort. Even more astonishing to discover how many have survived, in specialist collections, for the book producers Carole Montague and John B. Cooper to arrange and photograph for our delection—and what an enormous task that must have been!

I was delighted to find reference to little-remembered and previously-unknown toy cars, commercial vehicle and ‘buses now made available in this so attractive manner, and to find that old favourites, of which I own a number, such as the tin-plate Citroens, the Citroen Six chassis, the Meccano sports car, the covetable P2 Alfa Romeo and the big clockwork models of vintage cars, etc. have not been omitted. I was surprised to find the latter attributed to Jep and while I remember, and have owned, their Delage tourer, and knew of their Renault and Panhard-Levassor models, I am interested to find that their best model is depicted as a Rolls-Royce tourer, so perhaps my similar H6 Hispano-Suiza is by another toy-maker ? Curiously, the author makes it plain that he prefers the freer interpretation of the German factories, compared to these products of the Carette factory. Personally, I put these bigger tin-plate French cars as second only, in their class, to the P2 Alfa Romeo, but perhaps we are thinking of different toy-makers?

The several pages devoted to the tin-plate Citroen models is sheer nostalgia, inasmuch as I vividly recall going just before Christmas (1924?) with my mother to the real Citroen showrooms in Piccadilly, to buy my 10s. 6d. 5 cv. clockwork two-seater. I can still remember the pleasure its detachable disc wheels, realistic radiator, mudguards, and dashboard, etc., and its central handbrake, gave a car-mad boy, and also how much carpet-dust and hairs its clockwork-mechanism attracted! (I fear I cut the saloon-top off a later Delage, in order to turn it into a tourer stripped for Brooklands—trying to ignore the fact that a 14/40 didn’t actually race there….). When I say that this great, heavy incomparable tome on tin-toys even has a chart of sales for these tin-plate Citroens and a view of them, and the Citroen pedal-cars, standing with real Citroens in the Strasbourg showrooms in 1926, you will see what you will miss if you are a miniature car fan and you fail to browse through it. There are Land Speed Record cars, motorcycles, and much, much more besides, even unto badges and pockethistories of many of the toy makers whose diverse products are so beautifully depicted in the book—although I wonder whether the Bassett-Lowke Company will be flattered to find itself included among the makers of tin-toys? (After all this, I find there is no reference to that excellent Model-T Ford trio that I used to buy at Woolworths, presumably for about 1s. 6d. each. . . .)

If this one is too expensive for you to buy, your local librarian must be cajoled into obtaining it for you.—W.B.