Models, Toys, Dolls & Games

Collecting toys will undoubtedly evoke nostalgic memories of a long-gone childhood – from die-cast models (including Dinky Toys and Corgi), model railways, toy soldiers, dolls, teddies, games and general juvenilia, such as Meccano and LEGO, there is wealth of choice in this collecting area.


Märklin tops Kaufman sale in New Jersey

05 October 2009

THIS rare c.1912 Märklin fire engine toy topped the sale of the second part of the Donald Kaufman toy collection at specialist saleroom Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey, on September 25-26.


A £38,000 taxi fare in Yorkshire

01 September 2009

THIS German clockwork tinplate limousine made a surprise £38,000 at Tennants of Leyburn at their latest toy sale.


Off the drawing board at £6400

15 June 2009

THIS mysterious liveried Austin A40 Dinky van made for the Spanish company Omnisport sold for £6400 on the phone to a British collector at Wallis & Wallis in Lewes, East Sussex on June 8.

Sweep bags Sooty while dousing his opponent

06 November 2008

An early Sooty glove puppet used by Harry Corbett for the 1950s children's TV show was sold by at auction by Hanson's at the Mackworth Hotel, Derby, on October 29 for £3100.

Vendors at toy sale still waiting to be paid as firm closes

25 March 2008

Vendors at an auction conducted by the former head of Christie's teddy bear and doll department are still waiting to be paid, more than three months after the sale. The parent company has now gone into receivership.


Delivering a £17,000 Dinky record

25 March 2008

Pre-war delivery vans advertising commercial brand names have long been the kings of the Dinky collectors’ market. This was reinforced on March 10 when Vectis of Stockton-on-Tees sold the so-called 5th Avenue Collection, which included examples bearing well known and long-forgotten brands.


The £10,600 express

05 February 2007

HAVING not seen the light of day for around 40 years, this Bassett Lowke locomotive excited train enthusiasts when it came up for sale at Malcolm’s No 1 Auctions in Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Yorkshire.


Napoleon wins a late victory at £60,000

10 July 2006

An early 19th century boxwood and bone Napoleonic prisoner-of-war model of the Third Rate 74-gun HMS Mars fired a shot across the bows at Hampton & Littlewood's (15% buyer's premium) Maritime Sale in Exeter on June 21 when it set a new house record of £60,000.

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Caveat emptor – bone ship models

12 April 2006

Extra caution is advised when purchasing ‘prisoner of war’ bone ship models following the appearance at auction in March of three models specialists believe are 20th century replicas.


Perfect for a no-frills wedding

13 June 2005

The natural desire of a woman to wear the dress of her dreams on her wedding day may be an element of vanity even a Quaker bride cannot completely suppress.


Dating a boneshaker sold at £1350

18 May 2005

Certainly the most eye-catching lot offered by Lincoln saleroom Thos. Mawer and Son (15% buyer’s premium) on April 23 was this carved bone or ivory model of a 1940s Raleigh Roadster bicycle.

The incomparable game

06 May 2005

A CHESS sale held by Bloomsbury Auctions on April 14 included a small book section in which a 1745 edition of Philip Stamma’s The Noble Game of Chess, the half calf gilt bindings of the two vols. now a bit loose, sold at £920.


The sexy side of Italian colonial ambition

05 May 2005

The colourful stylish pottery produced by the Italian firm Lenci (and its competitor Essevi) is on something of a roll these days. The strength of this particular market was demonstrated at Christie’s South Kensington last week by this 21in (53cm) high figure designed by Sandro Vacchetti.


How they broke the bad news

21 February 2005

Back in the 1920s the Great Western Railway was amongst the pioneers of marketing. It produced a large array of promotional items, among which were the well-known series of wooden jigsaw puzzles made by the Chad Valley toy company, and sold on the railway’s bookstalls. Nearly 40 different puzzles were made.

Collectors keep Dinkys rolling as Britains’ toy soldiers go marching on

04 January 2005

The continuing strength of the privately-fuelled market for unusual or quality toys in good condition saw Wallis & Wallis of Lewes boast healthy selling rates by volume in their specialist November and October toy sales.


Do buying patterns reflect present conditions?

23 December 2004

Is there a Christmas factor in the auction rooms? Cheffins auctioneer Jonathan Law (Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent) believes that the season may have some effect in putting a little pressure on people to buy rather than wait.


Estimates demolished as buyers identify two rarities: £5200 bid for 3oz cup marks current demand for Guild work

13 October 2004

PROVINICIAL auctioneers may no longer be able to bank on a solid furniture take-up to keep business ticking over (the 162-lot furniture section at Bruton Knowles (15% buyer's premium) on September 16 fielded the lion’s share of casualties), but at least they can rely on unusual, commercial or quality entries still selling at a premium.


Antarctic scene on a roll at £4100

22 September 2004

THE solid cast metal figures produced by Georg Heyde in Dresden from 1872 until the Second World War can lack the detail and proportion of the best lead miniatures, but they are celebrated for the imaginative and animated uses to which Heyde put them.

Saving museum is no child’s play

08 September 2004

ONE of London’s most treasured small museums faces a funding crisis after a rent rise and the rejection of its grant application by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Toys march on palace

24 August 2004

WITH a turnover last year in excess of £5 million, Vectis, who are based in Stockton-on-Tees, are well known as the world’s largest auctioneers of toys. Perhaps less well known is the fact that the company also organise shows and, for some years, have put together the successful London Toy Soldier Show at The Royal National Hotel in London’s Bloomsbury.