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Toy Brands and Manufacturers


1920 -     

Holdfast was one of the two brandnames used by A. S. Cartwright Ltd. (~1920-~1940) for their ranges of pressed painted tinplate dollhouse furniture and other metal toys (the other name being Gwenda).

Holdfast and Chad Valley

The company was bought by Chad Valley in ~1940 – Chad Valley had been successfully designing and selling a range of tinplate toys in association with Burnett, who had then become part of Metal Box. With the success of the range, and the progressive agglomeration of potential tinplate suppliers, Chad Valley seem to have decided that it was a good time to take tinplate toy production in-house, and bought A.S. Cartwright Ltd to do the job.

Dolly Varden?

Anyone seeing the Holdfast range of tinplate furniture who is familiar with the Dinky Toys Dolly Varden range of dollhouse furniture will immediately be struck by the similarities – both ranges seem to be based on exactly the same collection of furniture (the main exception being that Holdfast included a radiogram and the Dolly Varden range didn't).

Another anomalous quirk is that both ranges have fairly small dimensions – it'd be interesting to place the corresponding pieces from both ranges side-by-side and see how close the scaling matches.

Unless there is some quirky reason why this particular selection of furniture was chosen for modelling by two independent companies, one in tinplate and one in MAZAC cast alloy, a suspicious mind might wonder whether one of the two companies simply decided to copy the other's range. Or did both companies hire the same designer, who recreated their favourite selection of pieces for both companies?

We know that the Dolly Varden range was launched in 1936, we don't currently know when the Holdfast range first appeared.

External links

Pages in category ‘Holdfast’

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