|Could this mascot be the first ever to be produced for fitment to the SS Jaguar, I have not encountered one like this before, it is very much of a similar appearance to the late Gordon Crosby approved SS bronze of 1937 which was advertised for sale in the Autocar magazine on the 23rd December 1938. The cost being two guineas and available from SS Car Agents. |
It is documented that in 1936 William Lyons instructed Bill Rankin, the company's secretary and a competent amateur sculptor, to design and produce a fitting mascot for the SS Car Company. It is unknown if Rankin was successful in designing such a mascot. If he did succeed, is this the elusive Rankin Jaguar mascot only to be surpassed by Gordon Crosby's design?
The early G Crosby mascots were made from bronze and chrome plated, this one appears to be made from brass. The G Crosby bronze mascots weighs in at 20 ounces and measures 8 inches from nose to tail this mascot weighs in at 14 ounces, not including the base and measures 6.5 inches from nose to tail.
From the early 1950's Jaguar range of models changed. Out went the exposed radiator cap and in came bonnets over the radiators and chrome plated centre bonnet strips, the only exception was some of the none mascot carrying XK models. Mascots also varied in size and shape, however, they all had two hole screw fixings and either a slot in the base for mounting over the bonnet strip or a square end for the strip to butt up to.
This mascot has just one 3/8th of an inch threaded hole in the centre of the tear drop base and is held onto the radiator cap with a substantial 3/8th Whitworth bolt, designed solely for fitment to a radiator cap.
I have been advised that these mascots were sold through Gamages in the mid 1950's. Gamages was a large department store in London. With over 500 lines of sale, this store could well have been selling this particular mascot, however, in the 1950's which Jaguar vehicle was it designed to fit?
Could it have been sold to Gamages by Jaguar as an accessory jaguar mascot, but to fit what, the only jaguar vehicle suitable would have been a MKV but production of the MKV stopped in 1951.
Would William Lyons have sanctioned the sale of Jaguar mascots through the retailer store? I don't think so, but he may have allowed the unwanted mascots to be sold as accessory ones, and the Jaguar connection kept out of the transaction.
If Gamages were selling these mascots, how else would they have acquired them? I doubt the store would have purchased a run of them from an unknown source knowing how closely they resembled the patent of G Crosby and by now Jaguar Cars Limited. Could it have been that the basic design of the Rankin Jaguar mascot was approved but was never issued for fitment or produced in a great quantity?
If this was the case, how many mascots could have been produced and stored only to be discovered years later and offered to Gamages and by who? If not William Lyons, could it have been Bill Rankin?