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Secret hoard goes under the hammer at Brightwells

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Collectors, I know from talking to many over the years, can be a secretive lot. The fear of “her indoors” coming across something or enquiring about the price of a toy is often best avoided. Imagine the surprise, then, when a good quantity of Wrenn 00 gauge locomotives was discovered by the family of a deceased private collector in Hereford. This selection had actually been hidden under the floorboards of the house - and were totally unknown to them…

They all found new homes at the December Brightwells auction, which featured toys amongst jewellery, coins and silver, as well as other collectables. Typical of the locomotives selling at the low end was the 00 gauge Royal Scot class 'Black Watch' in LMS black livery with a Packer No. 6 stamp (£90); whereas the ‘Neath Abbey’ in BR green was bid to £380. A sound £320 was achieved for the ‘Duchess of Gloucester’ in sombre LMS black and Hornby locomotives and rolling stock also featured in the sale.

A handful of old dolls was also entered: a Kammer & Reinhardt bisque-headed doll measuring 16 inches tall sold for £55 while a 1907 Simon & Halbig bisque-headed doll, at 27 inches tall, with jointed limbs and open mouth, was taken to a new home for £60. Best of all was the 19th century Biedermeier papier maché lady with a hand sewn leather body and printed voile dress: in good shape, she reached £220.

On to vehicles: the Golden Arrow land speed record car is instantly recognisable and a golden-hued tinplate example by Kingsbury was contested to £120. The Dinky Heinz Baked Beans van was probably a bargain for someone at just £35, although needless to say, it exhibited playwear. In contrast, the Dinky No 302 MG Midget sports car in yellow, with a box, attracted much interest and it made £150. A good green Aston Martin DB3 Sports, also boxed (reference 110) fell just short of that at £140.

Corgi didn’t fare badly either, with a cracking £200 bid on a competition Mini Cooper that was finished in a lovely shade of blue with a white roof: this (No 227) also came with a sound box. The same money would have secured the red Monte Carlo Mini from 1965. Finally, an excellent Vauxhall Velox (No 203) finished in cream with an early style blue box was pushed all the way to £120.

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