02 March 2017
Star lot at the February Wallis & Wallis auction was probably the Hornby Dublo 3 rail LNER Sir Nigel Gresley. This 4-6-2 locomotive in dashing blue hauled five teak carriages and was partially boxed. Dating from the 1930s, this electric beauty chuffed easily past its pre-sale estimate of £200-300 to reach £900 – a great result from a great toy.
The sale included a host of railway, diecast and figurine lots, and bidding was quite active on the day. Diecast collectors were well served, with Matchbox, Britains, Corgi and Dinky models all present. The Lesney ERF road (petrol) tanker in the unusual green shade with gold detailing, and running on metal wheels, attracted much interest and the hammer finally fell on £370. Its yellow stablemate, with silver painted detail, also boxed and mint, made £75 in comparison. It’s all about colour…
Some oddities were also featured: anyone fancy a Moko Pop-Pop series motor scooter? Pretty rare, by most standards, this grey-green example was missing its female rider but retained the folding wire stand and was boxed into the bargain. There must have been a Mod or two in the audience, for this slice of 1960s nostalgia sold for £190 against an upper estimate of £70. An Arnold tinplate jeep was another lot that had much potential yet actually realised a rather modest £75. The clockwork Freilauf (freewheel) 4x4 was finished in US military drab and had been produced in the US war zone of Germany, thereby dating it precisely. With one figure, it came with the remains of its original box.
On the figurine front, a number of Timpo hollowcast Quentin Durward figurines were featured. From the eponymous film, these included both foot and mounted. In all there were 11 examples, which included QD himself, Philip de Creville, William de la Marck, Gluckmeister and a couple of Landsknechts. A good selection, which would have given any collector of Timpo historical models a head start, the lot realised £90.
Finally, surprise of the day had to be the old scale model of a late 1800s lifeboat, “The Ashtonian”. The original boat had been stationed at Cemaes in Anglesey. Measuring 575mm long, it was painted in RNLI colours of white and blue. Featuring rowlocks, seats, detachable masts, ropes, sails, oars and a rudder, it was in sound condition, the auctioneer noting that some sympathetic restoration would not have gone amiss. A bit of guess, the estimate of £80-120, but the seller must have been delighted to see the boat sail away to a whopping £560!