Morestone

Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh

Issued 1953    Length 140mm

 

Seasonal toys have a reliable market every year. Morestone first produced the Christmas Sleigh in 1953 and re-issued it for many years in various designs and colour combinations.

 

The sleigh, shafts, reindeer and Father Christmas figure were all different castings and held together rather loosely so maybe this was a toy as much for display as for play. The sleigh, including the runners, was cast in one piece. Some versions had a bell motif on each side but this appears to have either been dropped at some stage or maybe Morestone had two versions of the sleigh made by different makers.

 

On the front of the sleigh was a hole into which the shaft slotted. This connected to the reindeer with little lugs on each side. There were two different versions of the reindeer, one hollow-cast and the other solid. In the sleigh sat Father Christmas, looking a bit serious!

 

Morestone used various colour combinations for the Christmas Sleigh. The sleigh itself could be yellow, turquoise, blue or greenish-blue. On occaisions it seems that the paint finish was not of a consistant standard and examples with unpainted sides or uneven colour are not uncommon.

 

The reindeer were painted pale brown, mid brown or a very dark brown but only on the top and sides. Neither the sleigh nor the reindeer were painted underneath, and the shafts were always unpainted. Father Christmas was traditional red with white trim for his beard and fluffy coat edges.

 

The Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh was sold in a colourful end-flap Morestone Series box with seasonal illustrations on all four sides.

 

It was a nice little model which still appears regularly at auctions in the lead-up to Christmas although the box is less common.

 

In recent years versions of the sleigh have appeared painted in various colours including cream and red. These are attractive seasonal ornaments but they are not believed to be original Morestone products.

Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh
Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh

Variation 1: Yellow with bell motif

Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh

Variations

 

All variations had Morestone end-flap boxes

 

1)  YELLOW sleigh   BELL motif on sides   BROWN reindeer   unpainted shafts   RED/WHITE Santa

 

2)  BLUE sleigh         BELL motif on sides   BROWN reindeer   unpainted shafts   RED/WHITE Santa

 

3)  TURQUOISE sleigh       NO motif           BROWN reindeer   unpainted shafts   RED/WHITE Santa

 

4)  BLUE-GREEN sleigh     NO motif           BROWN reindeer   unpainted shafts   RED/WHITE Santa

Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh
Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh

Variation 2: Blue with bell motif

Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh
Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleigh

Variation 4: Blue-green with plain sides

Morestone Father Christmas Reindeer Sleighs

Hollow-cast and solid reindeer

Nicholas Martin Diecast

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Abbreviations used on Nicholas Martin Diecast

   

  • bpw  - black plastic wheels

  • pmw - painted metal wheels

  • pw    - plastic wheels

  • spw  - silver plastic wheels

  • um    - unpainted metal

  • umw - unpainted metal wheels

  • id.     - maker's identification

 

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