Maurice Shackleton

Founded by Maurice Shackleton, they began production as James Shackleton and Sons Ltd in 1939 working from premises in Sandbach, Cheshire. Despite its short existence, James Shackleton and Sons Ltd managed to make a significant impact on the toy industry. Their die-cast models were highly sought after by collectors and are still considered valuable today. 

Initially producing toys of brightly painted wooden construction, these included lorries and dolls houses. The lorries, which included a breakdown lorry, a chain lorry and other examples were simply made. Each with a wooden cab, chassis and turned wooden wheels. They were adorned with a detailed metal grill. 

The “Foden FG” model

It is thought that in around 1948 the company began to produce die cast constructional scale models of the then popular “Foden FG” platform type lorry. The model which could be completely stripped down and rebuilt was composed of many parts and components, surprisingly these were produced entirely in-house by a staff of around 40 employees. 

Advertised within the Meccano magazine, the company headed with the catchphrase “You can dismantle it – just like the real thing”. The model trucks originally sold with a retail price of £2/19/6.

In 1949 the range included the addition of a Dyson drawbar trailer. In 1950 a “Foden FG “tipper truck was also added. This had a hand wound mechanical, working, tipping body. In 1952, and during the production of their latest model, a David Brown Trackmaster 30 tractor. The company began to suffer difficulties with a general shortage of available materials and harsh trading conditions, these ultimately resulted in bringing to an end this once great company. 

Shackleton at auction

Lot Image 48

We will be offering two Shackleton “Foden FG” models in their upcoming Antiques, Fine Art and Collectables auction. The first lot featured is Lot 269 (grey), estimated at £150 – £200. The second lot featured is Lot 270 (green), with an estimate of £200 – £300. This is a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a piece of toy history and own a piece of the James Shackleton legacy.


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Kevin Jackson | Auctioneer & Senior Specialist


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