14 March 2018
The February Wallis & Wallis sale threw up all manner of goodies...
The February Wallis & Wallis sale threw up all manner of goodies: there was a large section devoted to Corgi and Dinky, but creeping into the salesroom was a collection of Wills Finecast models as well as a number of Durham Classics miniatures. As always, the Lesney contingent were catered for, and other British makes, like Tri-ang and Britains, didn’t miss out.
Railway items, as always seems to be the case these days, did very well: highest grossing lot at the sale was an oil painting by Don Breckon, depicting a GWR 45xx Prairie 2-6-2 loco. With a Barbican gallery label attached, this 1974 gem fetched £900. Six O gauge kit built 12 wheel Pullman coaches came rolling after it, though: resin bodied and fitted with brass chassis, they were well detailed, boasting internal tables, lamps and seats. Complete with automatic couplings, they achieved £550. Another O gauge built kit, that of an LB&SCR Class D1 0-4-2T electric loco, bearing the Aldgate name, was in very good condition and realised £300.
Sci-fi certainly had a moment at this event: £420 was bid on a large collection (around 125 vehicles in all) of James Bond models, dioramas and magazines by Eaglemoss. The complete run of magazines (125 altogether) were contained in two binders and all models were boxed. An unusual lot, the estimate of £150-200 was easily exceeded.
Engineering gems also turned up: a healthy £460 was the closing bid on a Stuart Turner No 9 live steam mill engine. A single cylinder affair with a 60 x 70mm diameter cylinder, this had been constructed to a high standard and came with working governor and a wooden plinth. Around 270mm overall, it was in fine condition.
A collection of Action Man clothing and accessories was also hotly contested: a 1960s Grand Prix Lotus car, albeit not perfect, two figures from the 1960s and 1970s, with homemade clothing as well as World Cup shorts, part of a Guards uniform, a Red Devils suit, jackets, weapons and camping equipment all conspired to rouse the bidders to £180.
For plastic figurine lovers, the HO/OO Airfix boxed sets, together with figures from Italeri, Matchbox, Revell and Hasegawa, certainly attracted some interest. In all, 31 sets were contained in one lot, and these included WW2 infantry, various Napoleonics, paratroopers, marines and Luftwaffe. Much against the odds, this collection was bid all the way up to £260.
As for the Wills Finecast, these performed exceedingly well: the 24 lots, mostly cars, had all been the property of the late Ron Platt, an engineer and colleague of Bob Wills, who owned the company. They all found new homes, proving that these miniatures are very sought after. Most sold for between £100 and £140, with the highest achieving lots being two locomotives in 1/32 scale: these were factory-produced steam powered road locomotives and both carried Royal Chester nomenclature. One was finished in maroon, the other in dark blue, and both realised £160.
Finally, sadly, one or two gems didn’t quite make the sold list. A lovely pale green clockwork Minic tinplate Chrysler Airflow Open Tourer (reference 14M) was one casualty; and the Dinky US export issue Covered Wagon in olive drab was another.