05 June 2018
Proof that you don’t have to hang out at the big auctions to find good collectables was certainly evident in the recent Wallis & Wallis sale.
Proof that you don’t have to hang out at the big auctions to find good collectables was certainly evident in the recent Wallis & Wallis sale. Just over 1,300 lots were consigned in April and of great interest was a number of beautifully built 1800s sailing ships. These were simply exquisite in wood: some were scratchbuilt, some were from kits, but all impressed, with the biggest reaching a length of 1150 mm. This was the famous tea clipper, the Cutty Sark: that carried an estimate of just £200 but the stars of the show, expected to make up to £500, were the 104 gun model of HMS Victory and the French Napoleonic 64 gun man o’ war. This latter sailed into expectation to realise £420.
Ships apart (and I have to say that these seemed terrific bargains, given the level of workmanship), a couple of locomotives stood out in the railway section, which was, as ever, densely populated with engines, tenders, rolling stock and other accessories. The gauge one Deutsche Bundesbahn DB Class BR65 2-8-4T loco by Kiss Modelbahnen was simply stunning – there was no other word for it. A companion piece in the same scale was also included in the sale (a Prussian State Railways Class P8 4-6-0 loco and tender). Both were guidelined at £1,500-2000: the German model finally stopped on the tracks at £1,300.
Moving on to lead figures, the auction carried a good number of boxed Britains sets, some very early, as well as several lots of Trophy Miniatures boxed sets and a number by Tradition. Amongst the Britains (the most sought after lots) was an interesting set of camel riders: the Types of the Indian Army (Bikanir) was arguably a 1930s set and contained three riders with their rifles resting on their thighs. Very exotic, this lot made £120, which was spot-on in terms of estimate. Another interesting set, that of the Royal Marine Light Infantry, realised £440. The real treasure, though, had to be the scarce Britains civilian set; dating from 1908, here was real quality, despite the chipping that was noted. A Fred Whisstock box set off this delightful period evocation of eight different models, which certainly won over the bidders: it closed on £700, way over the upper estimate of £200. And finally, for all those who collect model car accessories, a good boxed set of roadsigns by Gilco was pursued to £90.