Vectis on a high
Vectis managed an impressive six sales in just eight days in November and there was something for all, ranging from Matchbox, dolls, teddy bears and bigger diecast to tinplate, model trains and military toys. A huge quantity of collectable toys went under the gavel (not literally, thankfully!), giving credence to the ongoing insatiable interest in the genre.
Where to start? How about Matchbox? A rarely-seen Regular Wheels Presentation Set B Garage Gift Set attracted huge attention and this big set, complete with roadway sections and service station and garage, was all there, aside from three models. The rest were described as in excellent or mint condition and the containing box, although only fair, was present. Very hard to find, with an estimate of £1,000 plus, this went on to achieve a creditable £1,800.
The Matchbox Superfast No.30a Faun Mobile Crane Truck with red body, a rare orange crane and jib with yellow hook and a bare metal base with five-spoke narrow wheels wasn’t far behind at £1,440; whilst a Superfast No.29b Racing Mini factory pre-production colour trial in dark red with door outlines cast and with an ivory interior was uncharted territory: the estimate of £1,000 was tripled in the end. Finally, a Superfast No.33a Lamborghini Miura with the rare metallic dark bronze paintwork roared away to fetch £1,020.
Militaria and allied material threw up some interesting lots: an original water colour illustration, comprising box top artwork for the series 4, 1/600th scale warships range, depicted the Prinz Eugen and was signed by Roy Cross, Airfix’s master illustrator. This was his very last commission for Airfix, for which he was paid £270! It realised £3,600. A unique Britains Racing Colours Series salesman’s sample set was still strung in its original box: virtually impossible to price, this unusual item galloped off to make £6,480. Finally, a Georg Heyde (of Dresden, Germany) Band of the 2nd West India Regiment (as performed at the Colonial Exhibition) set was an uncommon survivor: comprising bandmaster, bass drummer and ten musicians, and dating from the late Victorian period, the group contained in a sliding box chalked up £2,400.
In the model train sale, prices were rather more modest, with £552 bid on a Hornby Brighton Belle set (of Chinese origin); while £384 secured a three-rail electric, Bing O gauge 4-4-0 loco and tender in LNWR lined black livery representing "George the Fifth." The Harry Potter Hogwarts Express may be a sign of things to come: 12 models in all, all boxed, achieved a creditable £336 against an estimate of just £70-100.
And to end, someone really, really wanted the Spot-on No.137 Massey Harris Ferguson tractor: in red and grey with yellow hubs, this was an excellent example of a rare toy and it was pushed all the way to £960.