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In a sale that boasted an 85 per cent take-up by lot, the biggest money was reserved for several vintage cars that brought predictably high five-figure sums. The cycling material accounted for just over 40 per cent of the lots and contributed £280,000 to the £920,000 overall total, and a 22-lot Oxfordshire collection – one of three large UK consignments –
furnished proceedings with one of the top lots: the Coventry Sociable Convertible quadcycle, c.1882, with 42inch driving wheels and 22inch rear and forward steering wheels.

Although these large cycles allowed the two drivers to sit side by side and have a conversation (hence their name, Sociable), their cumbersome size made them difficult to store and most surviving examples are in poor
condition. The good original condition of this Sociable ensured it was pursued to £30,000 paid by a collector living in Japan.

What makes Victorian and early Edwardian cycles so fascinating to collectors is that they often featured components later used by cars.

A case in point was the double-pinion differential axle that was first employed on ‘The National’ open front tricycle, c.1885, and later became the standard axle for cars. Consequently, two car museums competed for this entry that also sold for £30,000.

Of the cycling ephemera, 26 Victorian and Edwardian bicycle lamps purchased in the 1950s by cycling enthusiast William Ford brought the biggest money. The last five years has seen this market develop and although the components of the group varied in rarity, a museum bid £30,000 for this ready-made collection.