Auctioneers made selling antiques look like child’s play when a collection of toys achieved £45,000 in the Cotswolds on Friday.
The top prices from the 157 toy lots at Moore Allen & Innocent’s Selected Antique Sale were all achieved by rare German toy trains from the 1910s and 20s, including sought-after names like Märklin, Bing and Lehmann .
The top seller was a sundry lot of rolling stock including a German Midland Railway goods wagon retailed for Gamages Ltd, an L&NWR Motor Car Traffic goods wagon, an LNWR Gunpowder Van and two Mamod 0 gauge MR brown painted vans, which sold for £3,400 – to the amazement of auctioneers and many bidders.
And the high prices continued as single Gustav Bing 2½” gauge LSWR guards van sold for £2,200, a Gustav Bing 1½” gauge brass and tin plate locomotive in green and black livery with brass cylinder and valve sold for £2,100 and a Bing 2½” gauge Midland Railway luggage and guards van in red livery with black painted roof sold for £2,000.
Meanwhile, a 2½” gauge Lowko tender for Great Western in green and lined livery, and a similar tender for GNR in green and black livery, achieved £2,000, a Lowko locomotive in LSWR green, black and red trimmed livery made £1,750, and a sundry box including a cattle truck, a GNR truck, a refrigerator van To Be Returned to Liverpool, a tin plate buffer, a tender, and various other trucks – all by Märklin – sold for £1,550.
Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: “The toys were in a play-worn condition and were unboxed, yet their age and the rarity ensured high prices on the day.”
Although the toys were a significant contributor to the success of the sale, they did not claim the coveted top price of the day accolade, which was reserved for for one of the smallest items in the sale – an unusual gold pendant from the mid-19th Century, which sold for £5,600.
Measuring just 3.8cm in diameter, the cross-shaped pendant was inscribed with the Greek symbols pi, omega and sigma standing for ‘light’ and zeta, omega, eta for ‘life’, together with an intertwined C logo on the reverse for the jeweller Castellani.
An Edwardian Liberty ‘Cymric’ silver teapot in the art nouveau taste designed by the renowned silversmith Archibald Knox made £4,200, and probably the heaviest lot of the sale – a pair of one metre tall carved natural stone urns, which perched above the billiards room at the early 18th century mansion of Estcourt House near Tetbury – sold for £2,900.
Continuing the local flavour, an early Winchcombe pottery oval dish attributed to Michael Cardew, featuring trailing slipware depicting a horned stag, sold for well above estimate at £1,800 and another small piece of jewellery – a white metal set solitaire brilliant cut diamond brooch measuring 5.8cm long, with the stone weighing approx 1.5 carats – made £2,700.
Gracing the cover of the auction catalogue, a 19th century inlaid specimen table top with chequer pattern of fossils, marbles and stones within a rectangular black slate border sold for £2,600 and a the hammer fell on a funky Vistosi glass bird designed by Alessandro Pianon in 1965, and standing at 18cm high, at £1,700.