There’s something special about tinplate fire engines. They’re intricate, they’re beautiful, and they hark back to a bygone era of firefighting.
For collectors the area is easily definable and a good collection can be acquired. We include a number of examples along with their estimates or prices achieved at auction.
Tinplate fire engines were first produced in the late 19th century, and they quickly became popular among children and toy collectors alike.
Some of the most collectable and highly prized tinplate fire engines were made by the German and French toy companies including Marklin, Bing, Arnold, Distler and Unis.
They were often colourful with excellent and transfer printing including names, firemen and fire engine details. Some models included extending ladders and detachable tin firemen. Clockwork tinplate fire engines are particularly desirable, especially in good working order.
British toy makers such as Mettoy made tinplate fire engines.