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Tinplate treasure trove

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March saw the much publicised tinplate collection of Michael D Foster go under the hammer at Vectis.

Where to start? How about with Brimtoy? A No.56 two arched viaduct, involving three sections, was brightly printed in red, yellow and black with embossed arches and balustrades. The length of each section was 9” and the supports had been fitted with strengthening and stabilising removable wooden inserts. Dating from the 1930s, this unusual set really took off, closing on £264.

Equally interesting was the Wells Brimtoy Mickey Mouse Circus Train Set. A tinplate clockwork 0-4-0 Silver Link loco in silver and black with red detailing was the focus, and it pulled a red tender with a Mickey Mouse stoker figure. The four-wheel Circus Dining Car was colourfully tin printed with Disney characters, while a four-wheel Mickey Mouse Circus animal car with printed Mickey and Minnie and other figures completed the assembly.  Again from the 1930s, this lovely set’s mechanism was said to be working when tested. In good to excellent condition, together with track and the remains of the original box, it was estimated at £200-260 but the rodent’s fans went further, pushing it to £504.

From the Mettoy stable came a Passenger Train Set, No. 5362. This comprised a tinplate clockwork O gauge 0-4-0 Battle of Britain class loco, the Hurricane, and a tender in blue and black with red and silver detail. From around 1950, it was complete with a key. A trio of blue and yellow four-wheel coaches and a circle of track made up the set. It sold for £288.

Meccano Constructor Cars are always popular and the No.1 was a scarce example is powder blue with cream roof and cycle type wings. It featured red interior seating but had the usual flat spots to the rubber tyres, particularly at the rear. Billed as fair to good, it tripled its estimate, settling on £384.

The Lines Bros (Tri-ang UK) pressed steel Delivery Van was a pre-war example with open sided cab and featured an opening tailgate to the rear. Despite exhibiting some wear through storage it was still a scarce example, measuring some 17” long. It rolled away to make £204.

Finally a collection of Mettoy, Wells (or similar) large scale British made tinplate clockwork cars dating from the pre and post-war period went under the hammer. In fair condition, the lot raised £384.

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