Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Hollow cast

April 15, 2012

John Hill & Co, lead horses

by Peter
Categories: Hollow cast, Johillco, John Hill & Co, Lead Toys
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Another part of my collection is lead animals, I started years ago with some of the Britains farm animals and sold them a few years back, I then built a collection of hippos (long story) and included among them is a few Britains castings along with a couple marked Johillco after a bit of easy research I found the company Johillco, the trading name of John Hill & Co also made hollow cast lead animals.

Recently I have added to this part of the collection and have expanded to horses.

Based on 1:32 scale the same as Britains the casting is said to be inferior to Britains but the feeding horse below is a good casting, the colours seem similar to Britains.

Next the Shire horse

And finally all four of the Johillco horses I have, including the foal and the foal laying down.

I’m not sure whether they were numbered as Britains did as I have very little information on them.

Johillco made farm animals, zoo animals and a vast range of soldiers, knights and many other castings.

John Hill & Company

John Hill & Company, or Johillco, was started in 1898 by F.H.Wood, a former employee of W.Britain. No one seems to know where the John Hill name came from. The original factory was in Britannia Row, Islington, north London but, having been bombed during the second world war, was relocated to Burney when it reopened under new management in 1946.

It is widely accepted that Johillco figures were the closest in style and accuracy to Britains, but painted with a little less detail, and usually in a slightly larger size than their Britains counterpart. Johillco figures were the first to be sold individually, rather than the boxed sets originally favoured by Britains, and were therefore more accessible to the working classes. Johillco were late converting their production, only beginning to make plastic figures from their hollowcast moulds in 1956 under the brand name of Hilco, but this was not successful and the company ceased trading in the early 1960s.

For more on John Hill & Co Click Here

For more on lead toys including animals and soldiers Click Here or Here