Early 'Morestone' Toys

Diecast models attributed to Morestone

Scroll down for full list & links to models

Sam Morris began his wholesale toy business in 1946 in Stoke Newington, London, whilst nearby another small business was founded by Jim and Len Burkett making diecast toys under the name 'Modern Products'. Not surprisingly, the two soon began working together and the models they produced are well documented including the Racing Car from 1946 and the stage coach 'Ye Olde Coach & Four' a year later.

 

However, it is certain that Sam Morris obtained toys for his wholesale business from a number of other toy makers but little is known about them. Some, such as the Dulcimer, were not diecast items but many must have been.

 

North of the City of London before World War 2 there were a number of diecast toymakers centred on the Finsbury Pavement 'Toy City' and in 1946 when metal restrictions were lifted these again began making toys. It is possible that Sam Morris saw the opportunities of distributing some of these.

 

Certain post-WW2 diecast models (and some thought to have been pre-war) have been listed under the name 'Morestone' for many years and are given below (others might be added later). Note, however, that it is unknown whether or not any of these were handled by Sam Morris.

 

Interestingly Sam Morris did not start using the name Morestone until 1948/9 so if he did include any of these in his sales lists, it would not have been under that name.

 

Modern replicas of early 'Morestone' toys are now widely available and so collecting the original items, which are hard to find, needs care.

Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy
Morestone Penny Farthing
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Tandem Bicycle
Morestone Boy on Tricycle
 

Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle

Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle
Morestone Butcher's Delivery Boy on Bicycle

All-metal model with detachable figure and front tray (missing on red model)

Blue or red bicycle, umw with unpainted stand for rear wheel (missing on red model)

White figure with black boots and striped apron, pink trim on face and hands

White or cream open tray which slotted over front wheel containing meat with red trim

 

Circus Clown on Penny Farthing

Morestone Circus Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Circus Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing
Morestone Clown on Penny Farthing

All-metal model with detachable clown and sometimes with dog

Red cycle with dark-grey unpainted wheels; cream clown holding two red balls; red hat & buttons with face trim

 Brown dog on rear platform (not included in box illustration)

End-flap box printed on one face and side only, no toymaker's name given

 

Ice Cream Vendor

Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor
Morestone Ice Cream Vendor

All-metal model, bicycle and rider (one casting) centrally rivetted through ice cream box to separate lid

Bicycle always black, rider varied, usually with black trousers and white jacket, and trim on face & hands

Ice Cream box white, cream or pink, lid green or red, umw, crimped axles

 

Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar

Morestone Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar
Morestone Tandem Bicycle
Morestone Tandem Bicycle with Sidecar
Morestone Tandem Bicycle

All metal model, sidecar (including child) was a separate casting rivetted to cycle before painting

The riders were detachable but could be clipped in place

Red or blue cycle & sidecar, blue or red child with pink trim

Cream or brown riders with pink trim on faces, hands & legs, brown or black hair

umw with full-width rear axle (crimped)

 

Boy on Tricycle

Morestone Boy on Tricycle - green
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - yellow
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - green
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - yellow
Morestone Boy on Tricycle - red

All metal model with steering and detachable rider

Main body of tricycle, handlebars and front forks were three separate castings

Unpainted metal wheels on nailhead+crimped axle (front) and push-fit (rear)

Red, green or yellow tricycle with silver trim on handlebars & front lamp

Boy rider was always blue including cap, with pink trim on face, hands and knees

Morestone Boy on Tricycle - red
 

Motorcycle & Sidecar

Early 'Morestone' Motorcycle & Sidecar
Early 'Morestone' Motorcycle & Sidecar

All metal model, fixed forks, cast-in passenger, separate motorcycle rider

Unpainted spoked metal wheels on nailhead & crimped axles

Red or blue motorcycle & sidecar

 Black painted passenger, black rider with white gloves and pink face trim

photos Ian Scott

Nicholas Martin Diecast

Morestone, Budgie, Benbros Vintage Toys

Britains Lilliput Vehicles     Kemlows Sentry Box

Abbreviations used on Nicholas Martin Diecast

   

  • umw - unpainted metal wheels

  • pmw - painted metal wheels

  • pw    - plastic wheels

  • gpw  - grey plastic wheels

  • spw  - silver plastic wheels

  • bpw  - black plastic wheels

  • um    - unpainted metal

  • id.     - maker's identification

 

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