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Sandown Park Toy Fair

Andy Morant behind his table

Saturday 9th of September, back again at one of my favourite shows. The first show for me in ten months, following a nasty fall in November which put me out of action for a while. All the usual soldier dealers were there, Adrian Little , Andy Morant, Steve Vickers, Tom Pratchett, John Begg, Joanne Christian, Peter Dale, etc.

For me, Sandown Park has become more of a selling day than a buying day. Lots of soldiers and other figures can be found on many dealers tables, regardless of their main interests and stock. Andy Morant found a tray of Britain Gnomes in various sizes and poses, and 30 or so very well priced coco cubs

My finds this time were limited but interesting, firstly 4 matching American infantry at the slope probably made by Hanks, c1910, which I understand had been purchased in America. I have not seen this figure before and presumably they were mainly exported, explaining their scarcity in England. Secondly 4 wooden 175mm scale figures which I think must be c1890, in red uniform with elaborate gold frogging and magnificent moustaches, sporting a spiked helmet with the letters WPC where I would expect the helmet plate to be. Are these West Point Cadets? I am not sure which subject I know less about, 19th century wooden soldier manufacturers or the uniform of the West Point Cadets but they are lovely figures. I look forward to being educated by fellow subscribers on both subjects.

Three more shows for me this year, Paris Eurofigurines 29.10.2023, Sandown 11.11.2023 and the London show on 8.12.2023. I am very pleased to see the Chicago Show is going ahead at a new venue and I wish the new organisers all the best in keeping this celebration of the toy soldier alive for many more years to come.

On a more sober note it was sad to hear of the passing of Lily Morant aged 90. Countless visitors to Portabello Road will remember when she started a stall with son Andy and for many years dealt in antique toys and period costume. A lovely service of remembrance and celebration was held at Kensall Crematorium on 30th August, followed by a wake at the nearby Masons Arms where many stories were swapped of her remarkable life.

Harry Kemp 10.9.2023

Hanks US infantry
Another heavily laden set of tables
Rare boats as well as figures
Rare civilian figures
Harry’s own wares
CBG fort and other figures
West Point Cadets -doughboy shown for scale
Britains hunt and Charbens circus
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