The Early Painted Giftware
Lesney's first attempts at giftware were probably through the efforts of MOKO who dabbled in many lines. They may have suggested the items as another revenue producing line as Yesteryears were perceived to be a model for the 'older' collector. The WADE connection may have been already established as they produced tankards with vintage cars on, pin trays with the same and other various items with a motoring theme to them so the Lesney models fitted in very well with this line of giftware.
The first models were produced in conjunction with the pottery company of WADE and most models were attached by 1 small screw into the base of the model through the tray. It seems strange as all trays I have seen have 2 holes moulded into them but obviously the models were to small for 2 screws to go in. There are reports of trays with the Y5 Le Mans Bentley and the Y8 Bullnose Morris on but I find this a strange choice of model as there is a raised edge at the rear of the mounting section and these models do not fit on the flat section due to their wider wheelbase and would therefore be leaning forward at an angle.
Trays are found with the legend 'An RK Product Made in England' on the base and this refers to Richard Kohnstam, Mose's son who succeeded his father as head of the company, then founded his own company later (RICO) on after the breakup with Lesney.
This range is fairly small to collect and appear for sale infrequently. Most models are displayed here with the exception of the Morris Cowley and the Bentley. The bases are described as green, honey-brown and beige which I found in an old catalogue on Wade sent to me by a collector of that company's items. You can also see one in black which is a fairly scarce colour for one of these trays.
An interesting point to this catalogue was the fact that the following models are listed but have never been seen by Lesney collectors although some seem to be non-Lesney manufacture
4. Bus ' Cliftonville Bus' Silver plastic bus on black tray
5. Bus Silver plastic bus on green tray.
7. Duke of Connaught Loco Black metal train - honey-brown tray
16. Santa Fe 4-4-0 Loco Red and silver train on honey brown tray
See the scans below for this information as it also relates to 'OTHER GIFTWARE' with regards the plastic models.