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C&T gets into its stride

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The 10th C&T Auction, scheduled for 12 December, comprises 600 lots, and will appeal to the miniature figurine collector. Its organisers have put together a varied list of toys and collectables, amongst these a comprehensive Skybirds collection from Derek Goldberg, comprising over 50 items; included are uncommon aerodrome tinplate buildings and accessories, together with a substantial number of aircraft, mostly made up. Rarities include the Handley Page Hampden (£150-200) and the seldom-sighted Armstrong Whitworth Atalanta (estimated at up to £700). A trench layout will also come under the hammer (although not literally!) and should make well over £100.

There is plenty to delight the Britains enthusiast, ranging from the miniature Barrage Balloon and Winch Lorry in good condition, albeit unboxed, at around £60 to a number of Britains armoured cars, with estimates around the £100 mark. A rare (boxed) Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (or should that be small people, in these politically correct days?) is expected to arouse excitement (allow £300-400) too. Aside from these will be an extensive array of boxed lead Britains figures from all eras and covering many different theatres of war.

One predominant theme of the sale is the Indian Raj and a number of Indian figures and accessories from this colourful era are waiting for new owners. Also crossing the rostrum will be three Courtenay knights, all highly collectable miniatures. 

On to other homegrown fare: a Taylor & Barrett Elephant ride, with keeper, howdah and children, is a delightful reminder of a bygone era (£100-150); whilst the Taylor and Barrett No. 306 Aeroplane Set is a real prize: extremely rare, this complete set comprises three De Havilland Comets, a biplane, a seaplane biplane, a seaplane monoplane, two petrol pumps, three pilots and three mechanics. It’s all in an original box, too: £300 seems the going rate.

And let’s not forget the hard to find Crescent Barber’s shop (an unusual subject, if ever there was one!): this is seldom seen in a complete state. The Charbens female Flower Seller with a basket of flowers is also quite rare when in very good condition: the sale’s example might make £70.

On the continent, the CBG Mignot German Ulhans from 1914 with two trumpeters (£100-150) will surely stir the bidding; and some Heyde mounted subjects (notably a jockey and a polo player) will also be contested.

But the undoubted star of the sale will be the Heyde S. A. Andrée's Arctic Balloon Expedition, from 1897. There’s an Arctic Survey dirigible balloon with friction steering ropes, two baskets, one crewman, propeller, suspension pulley and Swedish flag, together with the Arctic Exploration Team, a man-hauled sled with three supplies, tent, ice floe (!), a polar bear, surveyors with theodolite and five other personnel. This 1899 set is unknown to many and might go all the way to £3,000.

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