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HORSE & RIDER with DOGS, FOREST TOYs by Frank Whittington



  HORSE & RIDER with DOGS, FOREST TOYs by Frank Whittington £SOLD  
A group of carvings by Frank Whittington (1876-1973)an artist and wood-carver who set up a toy making business in the New Forest at the end of the First World War. The Forest Toys factory became renowned for its beautifully observed painted wooden toys. Whittington was particularly inspired by the animals, people and vehicles surrounding him in the New Forest. He also regularly visited London Zoo and the Natural History Museum so as to produce accurate scale models of exotic animals for his Noah’s Arks and Zoo sets.
Originally from Reigate, Whittington worked at a munitions factory in Redbridge, Southampton during the First World War. He moved to Brockenhurst and began by making toys on a small scale in his home. In 1922, unable to keep up with demand, he set up a small factory British Industries Fairs held between the wars. At one fair, the young Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) is said to have taken a particular fancy to Whittington’s Noah’s Ark, complete with all its animals. Queen Mary too was very impressed and, according to ex-employee Basil O’Donnell, ordered two dozen arks on the spot.
The outbreak of the Second World War saw the closure of Whittington’s factory. He was unable to import the necessary wood from America and many of his employees joined up or became involved in the war effort. Frank Whittington died in 1973 aged 97.
Horse & rider are larger than most at 18 cm.
Two dogs with damage.


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