Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Art of Play: Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), 1900

The Prince Consort's Own, 1900
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This set of toy soldiers depicting The Rifle Brigain (known as the Prince Consort’s Own) was made by the manufacturer “Britains” which began making such sets of soldiers in 1883 and are credited with having invented the hollow casting process for manufacturing them. The Britain family became the leading toy soldier maker because of their championing of this hollow-casting process, trumping the already established imports from Germany which had previously dominated the toy soldier market.

Here, we see a set by Britains from 1900 of eight painted soldiers in black uniform, seven of whom are holding rifles. The set features its original red cardboard box base and lid with yellow printed paper label. The lid lists the battles in which the Rifle Brigade fought - Copenhagen, Orthes, Monte Video, Toulouse, Roleia, Peninsula, Vimiera, Waterloo, Corunna, South Africa 1846-7; 1851, Busaco, Alma, Barrosa, Inkerman, Fuentes d’Onor, Sevastopol, Cundad Rodrigo, Lucknow, Badojoz, Ashantee, Salamanaca, Ali Masjid, Vittoria, Afghanistan 1878-9, Nivelle,Burma 1885-87, Nive, Khartoum.

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