Boats buoyant at latest Wallis & Wallis sale

09 September 2019
The July auction at Wallis and Wallis featured a number of model boats and allied craft from the Sutcliffe and Hornby stables

Of the former, a clockwork-powered Comet speedboat in pale blue, together with a Sprite Day Cruiser in cream and green, both in working order, achieved £60, whereas an attractive Valiant battleship, bearing the Grenville name and finished appropriately enough in grey, realised £190. This was a scarce model, and was helped by having all its masts and accessories present, together with a functioning clockwork motor. The sale’s single-hulled Bluebird speedboat was expected to make up to £120 but fell just short at £100; whereas the clockwork Jupiter Ocean Pilot Cruiser in white and red, again in excellent order, found a new berth for £60. Other Sutcliffe items included the Merlin speedboat (£50), the Hawk speedboat (also £50), a limited edition Diana cruiser (£70) and a Commodore cruiser (£60). The Bluebird 11 speedboat, in cream and red, was arguably the best of the bunch and quite sought after: this lovely example settled on £180.


Hornby examples included a No 1 Speedboat/Racing boat in light blue and cream (£80), a No2 version in cream and dark blue (£85) and a pair of scarce 1960s clockwork/electric speedboats: the No 3 and the No 10 launch were in very good condition and were bid all the way to £130.

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Railwayana was also prevalent at the sale, with numerous lots comprising signs and plaques. This area of collecting never seems to wane and despite the fact that much of the merchandise must have been “liberated”, plenty of people want it. Highlight was the BR platform sign or totem for Effingham Junction (from the Guildford to Surbiton line): in that classic green with white lining, it made £420. BR wooden platform station boards were also up for grabs: A Hastings example made £60 while a Bognor Regis version tipped the scales at £55. A cast iron locomotive shed plate bearing the inscription “34 A” was finished in dark blue with white lettering: this desirable railway relic was knocked down for £360.


On the diecast front, a trade box of six Dinky No.190 Caravans was an interesting lot: there were three deep yellow/cream examples and three in mid-blue/cream. Most had very minor chipping and the variations in hue indicated that the six had been collected, with the box, over a period of time rather than being a set straight from the factory. Nonetheless, the sextet was bid to £170. Finally, a pleasant surprise for one vendor was the Dinky Triumph TR2 sports (No 111). Estimated at £80 plus, this pretty example in salmon pink with a blue interior raced off to realise £140.