Back in April last year, Special Auction Services sold the Ron McCrindell collection including, as its headline lot, a Märklin spirit-fired, steam-powered battleship ‘HMS Terrible’.
It sold to a
buyer in Belgium at £76,000, becoming the most expensive single
tinplate toy ever sold at auction in the UK.
In addition to making the front page of ATG, the event received
Europe-wide media coverage - including an article in a Dutch
newspaper seen by a family who just happened to have a Märklin
'first series' battleship of their own.
They consigned it for the SAS sale at the Greenham Business
Park, Newbury on January 31.
The Sachsen, a 2ft 1in (62cm) spirit-fired vessel
loosely modelled on the Siegfried class of the Imperial German
Navy, was contemporary with HMS Terrible, made at the
height of the Göppingen factory's creative genius c.1905.
At the time, toys of this calibre were accessible only to the
cream of European society. An inscription to the rudder blade
reading RE/g and 46/06 is believed to
represent the cipher of the Queen of Holland at the time (Reina
Emma) and suggests the boat was built in week 46 of 1906.
A royal connection is quite possible, although it is understood
to have been the boyhood toy of Lord Adolf Frederik Willem Lodewijk
Jacob van Pallandt.
When he died at the tender age of 11 in 1911, it was given to
his sister, Julia Elisabeth Baroness van Pallandt van Waardenburg
en Neerijnen. The current owner's father was given it as a token of
gratitude for long years of service in 1970, a year before Lady
Julia passed away.
The provenance was good but key to its commercial fortunes was
its excellent condition. Sachsen retained its
original paintwork and all of its original components save a
Estimated at £30,000-50,000, it sold for £57,000 to a
Continental buyer - proof again that, in the auction business,
success so often breeds success.
The buyer's premium was 15%.
Märklin House at Cottees
Märklin tinplate toys from the inter-War years have neither the
charm or the build quality of those from the golden age period, but
they remain highly desirable.
A small building - modelled as a pair of modest British
semi-detached houses - is quite a rarity.
Although known from Märklin advertisements of the 1930s, it is
thought few were made.
The two buyers who travelled together from Germany to view this
one item at Cottees of Wareham on December 1 did
not have a wasted journey. Against four telephone lines, they were
the successful purchasers at £4600.
The buyer's premium was 15% .
Boxed Bing takes £3200
Meanwhile, a Gebruder Bing 'De Deon' type clockwork tinplate car
was consigned to Brightwells sale by a member
of a family who had owned it since new.
The model was first introduced in 1904 and is pictured alongside
a celebrated range of tinplate automotive vehicles in the Bing 1906
Kept in its original card box with a GBN label and the serial
number No 14138/4, it had survived in fine condition. Only the
visible chips to the yellow, maroon and red paint and the missing
key marred a toy that retained all its original components,
including its brass lantern.
Although not quite in the league of the Bing brake c.1902 sold for
£14,400 by W. & H. Peacock in Bedford in October 2012, it
nonetheless took £3200.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.