03 November 2017
By the very nature of their work, auctioneers learn to expect the unexpected;
By the very nature of their work, auctioneers learn to expect the unexpected; however, even they are at times taken aback by what they find. Such was the case with Sheffield Auction Gallery's John Morgan, when confronted with a South Yorkshire home. John, of Sheffield Auction Gallery, picks up the story.
“It was late spring this year when I was asked to view the contents of a modest three storey house and from the moment I opened the door, I knew this was not the conventional fare. The gentlemen concerned had some serious collecting habits, one of which was model and toy figures, predominantly from the early 20th century, right up to today. It is very difficult to say how many, because of the style of lifetime collector he appears to have been. There were 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 - maybe more, with the majority not in boxed sets but as loose examples, with a cataloguing and sorting system and reference book collection that showed a real insight into the subject. On display, in storage, in display drawers, they were all over the house, and they sat alongside other collections.”
In this diverse there are metal, plastic and composition examples and military, civilian and animal themes. There are many rarities, with makers ranging from the talented hand of Richard Courtenay to Kentoys: and there are thus prices from £10 to hundreds of pounds. The collection will be split into single figure lots, all the way up to hundreds of figures in a lot.
“This is, without doubt, one of the most important collections of its type to come to the open market in 2017,” concludes John.
The collection sale has been divided into three parts, with modern Britains and similar plus all the white metal being sold in military auctions while the toy metal and plastic figures are being sold in a fine figure auction on October 19 at Sheffield Auction Gallery. ■