A novelty locomotive sweet container for Chlorodyne Lozenges (probably some form of cough drop) proved a star attraction at Richard Winterton’s December 1 collectors’ auction in Burton on Trent last week.
The 14in (35cm) long box (now sadly with a detached chimney
stack) is thought to date from the first quarter of the 20th
century and is lithographed in green NER livery.
It arrived as part of a box of miscellaneous items from a deceased
estate but the auctioneers reckoned it had potential and pulled it
out to offer as an individual lot, thinking it might make in the
region of £500-600.
It attracted considerable interest, contested by three people in
the room and three telephone bidders and the hammer finally fell at
£4000 to a British dealer/collector on one of the phones.
The purchaser, who had spotted the box in Winterton's Antiques
Trade Gazette advertisement, had never seen another example and its
rarity, plus crossover appeal to toy and railway enthusiasts all
contributed to the high price.
Because of its large size, the auctioneers and purchaser reckoned
it was probably a shop display rather than a domestic piece. Its
revolving wheels and the couplings to front and rear also prompted
speculation that there could originally have been carriages made
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