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“To find this model is incredibly rare,” said auctioneer Glenn Butler, “but to find one in such good condition is almost unheard of.” There were bids on the book and on the phone but the van went to a dealer in the room at £1850.

A scarce 1-gauge Carette live steam locomotive and tender was the next best seller. In Midland maroon with yellow, gold and black banding and lining and twin outside cylinders, the engine came in its own wood storage case and with a catalogue photocopy extract. Despite some refinishing and repair, this was a rare model and it went to a collector at £1400.

The sale also included a privately consigned collection of dolls and doll’s houses from which the top seller was a scarce Tri-ang No.93 Stockbroker’s House. In today’s world a stockbroker is just as likely to live in a riverside luxury apartment but back in the 1950s and ’60s this mock Tudor house would have been the height of bourgeois luxury.

With a built-in garage, two bedrooms, a side porch and lights to all rooms, the 3ft 111/2in (1.20m) long house had some minor wear to it and also wood worm but still brought in a suitably respectable £600.

Wallis & Wallis, Lewes, March 18
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent