Saturday, March 03, 2012

RECENT AQUISITIONS 54mm Lead-alloy vintage soldiers

Box 70, Eight British Sailors at attention in gaiters. Original boxed set of Soldiers Soldiers, made in Lambeth, London, in the 1970's by John Tunstill – Soldiers. Now vintage figures, and boxes are rarely found on-line or on eBay. The sailors appeared in this uniform at the Spithead Reviews.
A panoramic photo: in fact half a dozen individual photos joined together: showing the Grand Harbour in Valetta, Malta in the late 1880's at the time of the visit of Queen Victoria in the Royal pleasure boat Britannia accompanied by Dreadnaughts of the British Mediterranean Fleet is also for sale.

Box 88, Eight King’s Royal Rifles, a popular boxed set made in the 1970’s and 80’s of the world famous Soldiers Soldiers. This UK full dress would have been worn at reviews, parades and at the Aldershot Tattoo. Original Victorian prints by Paine, Simkin and Burnett available.

Box 123, Eight United States Marine Corps, on parade, presenting arms, maybe outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square where they made the film Children of the Damned.

Box 92, 8 x British Line Infantry in kahkie, off to the colonies, maybe India or Africa, wearing the 1890 pattern foreign service helmet. Made by Soldiers’ Soldiers, London some 90 years after the event, 30 or so years ago. Kahkie is an Urdu, north Indian, word meaning dust, and in the British Army the white, tropical uniforms were stained, often with tea, to provide a less obvious target, for soldiers in the field. With washing, and the sun, the tea stain would gradually fade, leaving any body of troops with a variety of shades from light biscuit to light brown.

Box 333, 8 x Bethnal Green Volunteers, ONLY ever made for the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood in, wait for it, Bethnal Green, East London. Never sold in the Soldier Shop or supplied to the trade. Formed in the late 1700's when the threat of an invasion by Napoleon was at its highest.
A rare set depicting the forerunners of the Territorial Army.

Box 93, 8 x British Infantry, perhaps in the Egyptian or Sudan Campaign, attempting to rescue Gordon and relieve Khartoum, taken up the Nile in boats provided by Thomas Cook. Lead-alloy 54mm figures, hand-painted by British labour in hygienic workshops in Lambeth in the 1970's. A most interesting scrap book of the Egyptian campaign, newspaper reports, sketches, maps etc, contemporary documentation, is now for sale

Box 33, Eight riflemen KRRC again, this time quick-marching at the trail to the strains of the Huntsman' Chorus, in guard order. Marching past the assembled multitude outside the Soldier Shop in Kennington Road, Lambeth, near the Imperial War Museum. Did you ever visit?

Box 123, 8 x Royal Air Force, passing-out parade, Hendon, Wilmslow or any other RAF camp. Per Ardua ad Astra…….is what they told me. Difficulties, yes, but stars, only when I hit my head.The Dam Busters filming location is on As is The Liquidator which also shows RAF personnel.

Box 17a, 8 x Royal Marines, relieving the Legations in Pekin at the time of the Boxer Rebellion, see Charlton Heston in 55 Days at Pekin for the first united nations military force. British, French Sailors box 340, Russians box 342, Prussian Uhlans variations on 142 and Marine Infantry box 93a, Rajputs 330, and Sikhs 297 all took part. Two Victorian prints showing the storming of the Forbidden City are for sale. No extra charge for the minor worm holes!

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

The World of Model Soldiers

Based on the World of Model Soldiers originally commissioned and paid for by André Deutsch in association with Rainbird Reference Books 36 Park Street, London, W1Y 4DE in 1979, but unhappily never published, due to the miners and Ted Heath and the three day week.

Granted an ISBN number of 0-233-96537-8 and with copies of the original manuscript lodged with the principal libraries in the United Kingdom.

Much of the original material has now been superceeded, but I hope that this work will be of interest to collectors of model soldiers throughout the world.
Copyright 2003 © John Tunstill, Calzolaro, Umbertide, PG, Italy

PREFACE & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS >Part 1 : Early Model Soldiers

Model figures have been made by man from the time that he was first sufficiently civilised to be able to model clay and to use the primitive tools; and model soldiers, as opposed to ordinary human figures, were made from the time of the earliest soldiers having a uniform, instead of a purely warlike appearance.

Crude drawings of model figures - not necessarily of soldiers - have been found in some of the earliest human settlements. One of the earliest collections of model soldiers belonged to the Chinese cavalry commander, Chang, and was found in the province of Wu Wei in 1969; another belonged to the Egyptian prince, Emsah, who lived about 2.000 years before the birth of Christ.

These two may have been posthumous collectors in that both collections were found in the tombs of their owners as were most of the earliest known models. Reproductions of other early Chinese figures have been on sale in China for many years and are still sold there. They are usually of a wire frame surmounted by a china or porcelain covering and then hand painted.

Around the Mediterranean there have been finds of bronze model figures from Ancient Greece; and flat tin figures of Romans, and Roman soldiers, have been found throughout Europe - one of the best known being the figure of a legionary found in Germany at Mainz. Greece, the Mediterranean islands, Mexico, and Peru all have claims to be the sites of early manufactories of model soldiers and figures fashioned from metal, terra cotta, clay, and stone which are arguably military in style.

to be continued

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