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It looks like an ornament - something to sit on a side table and catch dust! The Borough of Putney is a district in south-west London, so presumably this is a souvenit of that place, although I'm not sure why. Perhaps that is where the first tanks were manufactured?


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I've seen these before and often though that they were a odd topic for an item to be made out of china. I can't help with the history of the item but it is interesting to look at a WW I tank and think that when this piece was manufactured such tanks were the leading edge of military technology. Compaired with today's tanks they were lumbering targets for the German gunners. I think the Germans called them "Tommy Roasters". But still they were the Stealth Bombers of their day.



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These were sold as souvenirs, produced during WWI by firms such as "Goss" & "Arcadia".

Prior to WWI these ornaments had been produced in a multitude of non-military subjects, they were the sort of thing that you'd buy as a souvenir of a holiday, with the city or town coat of arms on.

During the Anglo-Boer War representations of cannon shells etc were produced.

Amongst the many other military items produced were machine gunners, busts of Lord Kitchener, & I think grenades.

Tanks are amongst the most popular subjects nowadays, but as with all of these souvenir ceramics condition is paramount, & value & desirability to a collector also depends on the manufacturer & the coat of arms displayed on the piece.

I have a book on these somewhere, I have'nt seen it for years, I think it's called "Take Me Back To Blighty". If I can find it we can find out more about this specific tank.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like a British MkIV "Tadpole" c. mid-1917, so named for it's extended rear end designed to improve trench-crossing capabilities.

See lot no. 295 in this auction list from 2005, reserve price ?17.50; sounds like your Tank- is yours about 114mm long?


Edited by Ken MacLean
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