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Picking up steam at Goodwin's

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John Goodwin’s recent specialist auction sale comprised over 500 lots of advertising memorabilia, diecast toys, model railways - and large-scale live steam locomotives.

The auctioneers were apparently inundated with commission bidders from the UK and overseas, including the US and Canada. Whoever said that the toy scene was quiet of late?

A rare Vacuum Motor Oils advertising sign opened the sale, with local motoring enthusiasts accelerating the bidding to a hammer price of £480. This rare find complemented a scarce Pratt’s yellow and black motor spirit enamel sign, which also made £480, and a Zig Zag Pratts enamel sign that sold for £350.

The sale included a large local model railway collection, several lots being good examples of Wrenn and Hornby Dublo. Many had original packer stamps, with an LNER A4 Peregrine making £70 and a No 4482 Golden Eagle selling for £95.

The auctioneers say that they have noticed an increase in the second-hand model market recently, putting this down to the rising prices in the new model sector. Despite new technology, with its digital operation, the model market is still attracting serious interest. Tri-ang, in particular, is attracting the interest of adults who enjoyed Tri-ang trains as their first train sets over 40 years ago.

Tinplate is still sought after, especially in good collectable condition: a Lehmann DGRM wind-up tinplate performing sealion attracting serious interest, being finally knocked down for £100. Early wind-up tin toys are also very much in vogue at present, and a collection of boxed singing birds flying away for £95.

A consignment of early Matchbox toy sets included a highly collectable G-2 Transporter set (in a fair, playworn box) that made £350; this went to a German diecast collector. A specialist collection of rally cars by IXO, Trofan and the Colin McRae Collection sped away and stalwart Corgi and Dinky cars and lorries still attracted both trade and private collectors. Unmade plastic kits by Airfix, Revell and Academy all fostered serious competitive bidding.

But the order of the day was live steam, with a Mamod Steam Car making £65, whilst a boxed Mamod RS1 railway set made a superb £160 - and an early SR1a Road Roller sold for £85.

Larger scale live steam were the true stars of the sale: a part-built 2 inch scale Burrell steam tractor sold for £1,200 and a superb 5 inch gauge live steam model based on a GWR pannier tank Speedy aroused considerable interest, finally selling for £2,600. Best of the lot proved to be the final lot of the sale, a gorgeous 3.5 inch gauge model of the famous GWR King Class locomotives 6001 King Edward VII, resplendent in GWR green: this was taken to £4,000.

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