State Library of South Australia logo To be a child
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Coronation Coach
Title : Coronation Coach Coronation Coach
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : Lesney Products
Date of creation : 195-
Format : Toy
Dimensions : 390 mm long
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Donated by : Jim Crompton
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Coronation Coach with eight horses and original box. Initially the coronation coach was made in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. Two figures were inside the coach - King George VI and his queen, Elizabeth. This toy did not sell particularly well. However, King George died in 1952 and, in expectation of the coronation of his daughter Queen Elizabeth II, Lesney stepped up production. The male figure was removed from the coach when it was realised that the young queen would ride in the coach alone, rather than with her husband Prince Philip. The new coach was released in 1953.

The State Library also holds a small Coronation coach (12cm long). This was also released in 1953 and over one million were sold. This funded Lesney's development of its 1-75 series of models.

Lesney Products was established in 1947. After some early industrial die-casting work it began making metal toys. A road roller was the company's first vehicle. It also produced Jumbo the elephant, a clockwork tin toy, and Muffin the mule, a spin-off from a BBC TV children's programme. Lesney's greatest marketing success was miniature models which would fit inside a matchbox. These were affordable and accessible to children and started a new collecting craze.

Period : 1946-1979
Further reading :

Carter, Robert. Yesterday's yesteryears: Lesney "matchbox" models, Yeovil, Somerset, England: Haynes Pub. Group; Newbury Park, Calif., USA: Haynes Publications, 1986

Fawdry, Marguerite. British tin toys: including an A-Z of British metal toy makers, London: New Cavendish Books, 1990

Jaffe, Deborah. The history of toys: from spinning tops to robots, Stroud [England]: Sutton, 2006

McGimpsey, Kevin. Collecting Matchbox diecast toys: the first forty years, Chester, England: Major Productions, c1989

Thompson, Frank. The Matchbox toy price guide, Tonbridge, Kent: E. Benn, c1983

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on