Britains collectors generally know about this one (hey, even if you only collect farm & zoo, you have the reference books, old catalogues, etc.): [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
(photo from Vectis toy auction site, so sadly not in my collection)
It was made 1969-72 in this elaborate box representing the gun deck of a ship of the period with crew, catalogue number 9736.
The gun, without crew or fancy box, was continued a little longer, 1973-74, cat. 9738.
And collectors know about this one: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
(another Vectis photo)
It was made 1960-67, as you can see in rather garish colours, but it was a popular toy in its time. Britains cat. 2189
But no one, not even experts like James Opie, seem to know this one exists too. I didn't, until I saw it and bought it on eBay a few years ago: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
In his huge 'Great Book of Britains', James Opie lists item 2183 as unlisted (i.e. not in main Britains catalogues) item 'Fort Henry Cannon' in 1960, which he assumes was cannon 2189 above in a special box (he says no one in the collecting community had seen this special box) only sold in the souvenir shop at Fort Henry, Canada. I'm guessing that in years after 1960, Mr Opie was correct in his assumption, and this more muted colours, with an undecorated barrel, was a very short lived 1st version. I'm also guessing that this one I bought, labelled on the box simply as 18th century cannon, with no mention of Fort Henry, was a clearance batch sold off to the UK toy trade.
Here are all 3 types together from the side, for comparison (I do have the other 2, but not in original boxes): [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
and from above, to show differences in size, colour and decoration of the gun barrels: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
I wonder how many of this 2183 type were made?
How many have survived, even without boxes, in present day collections?
Have any survived in Fort Henry boxes?
Do any other collectors have them in this type box? (I bought,
shall we say, more than one.