Make mine Meccano!

05 October 2016
Vectis-block-setting-crane-04426.jpg Block crane
Make mine Meccano!

If you thought that old-fashioned steel construction toys had gone out of vogue, think again! A recent Vectis sale featured a number of Meccano sets, all of which performed spectacularly, easily passing their pre-sale estimates.

Best of the bunch had to be the Meccano six-drawer Dealer’s Cabinet from the 1950s. It came complete with headboard and parts card and the drawers were divided into sections and lettered from A to F. Each drawer contained a large quantity of packeted parts. Contents were noted as excellent plus to near mint, with the cabinet in excellent condition. The somewhat modest estimate of £800-1,000 was quickly eclipsed, the cabinet finding a new home for £2,880.

Another interesting lot was the Meccano No.6 nickel set, circa 1925. This plain coloured variety of Meccano exerts a strange influence on collectors and it isn’t that often encountered. A number of parts were contained in a good plus to excellent box with instructions for Book No.1, dated July 1925. Again, a modest estimate of £280-360 belied its true value, and it finally sold for £648.

More familiar was the Meccano No.4 red and green outfit with a number of parts, although the top tray parts had been restrung on to a non-original backing board. Instructions were dated 1935 and contents were good. This set made £480, over four times the estimate.

An oddity was the Meccano Connecting Outfit No.4-H with parts in blue, green and gold. A number of parts had been restrung to a non-original backing board in the top tray but this didn’t deter bidders at all, who doubled its pre-sale estimate: the set finally sold for £624. The rare Meccano Outfit K10 in blue and gold included a boxed clockwork motor, an electric E1/20 motor, boilers, digger bucket and a number of other parts. Instructions were present and this pre-WW2 set had bidders digging deep, as it finally realised £624.

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A 1951 Meccano Outfit No.10 red and green with a number of parts in red, green and black was contained in a wooden box with two lift-out trays, and included a number of packeted parts. This set included instructions for Outfits No.6, 7 and 8, 9 and 10, date-coded accordingly. The box itself was described as generally excellent with Meccano Outfit No.10 in gold lettering to the box lid and underside. This desirable lot attracted huge interest and the top end estimate of £1,200 was almost doubled when it sold for £2,280.

Equal interest was shown in the Meccano late issue No.10 Outfit in dark blue and yellow which was contained in a triple drawer cabinet with plastic tray inserts. This galloped away (if such can be said of construction toys) to achieve £2,520.

Star of the show though was the Meccano Block Setting Crane, expertly built using gold and blue Meccano, a red and gold geared roller bearer, a Hornby T20 Transformer and an E020 Meccano Blue Side Plate Motor. This stunning creation, measuring 58 inches in length and standing 30 inches tall, came on a base with runners. Unsurprisingly, it caused huge interest, the hammer closing on £1,200, a considerable way over its estimate. Finally, the motorised Meccano shop display model of an Excavator and Dumper found a new home for £720.

Other interesting lots included a Hornby Dublo 3-rail 3211 4-6-2 Loco and Tender BR green A4 Class “Mallard”, No.60022. This locomotive was fitted with nickel plated driving wheels and was described as near mint in an excellent box with guarantee slip, instructions, test tag and even a spanner. Estimated at £100-140, the Mallard chuffed on to reach £528.