It was full steam ahead at Dreweatts’ auction of model locomotives from the Salem Collection as a world record price was run up.
The Duchess of Buccleuch, an LMS
Pacific type, sold at £140,000 to a British collector against an
estimate of £30,000-50,000, a world record for a 7¼in gauge, model
engineer-built locomotive, and in fact a top price for any model
locomotive of this type or gauge which has ever been sold at
This live steam model was built by the late
Harry Powell of Crewe.
Other records at the sale at Donnington
Priory on April 25 included £34,000 (estimate £10,000-15,000) for a
5in gauge Windsor Castle built by John Adams of Poole
and £45,000 (estimate £15,000-20,000) for a 10¼in gauge Royal Scot
built by Louis Raper of Failsworth.
The auction overall comprised 18 lots, all
sold, from the collection built up over 40 years by Jack Salem, who
died in 1986 in Switzerland. Michael Matthews from Dreweatts said
this sale of live steam model locomotives was "possibly the most
important ever held anywhere in the world".
It was felt that interest in the British
locomotives would be highest in the UK, so the models were brought
back from Switzerland for the sale, and all lots were indeed sold
to private British collectors, although there was worldwide
interest from Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and Italy.
All lots were sold to the room or phone bids
but there was internet bidding on many items.
There had not been an auction of this type
for a decade so prices were always going to be difficult to assess,
and the sale total doubled estimate at £439,500.
The buyer's premium was 22%.