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The entry that towered above all others was the pair of Facchino ice-cream figures of a boy and girl holding unfeasibly large cones.

Measuring 22in (56cm) tall overall, the figures stood on three tired plinths and were in generally good condition despite some minor paint flaking.

Estimated at £1700-2000, the figures scooped a £4000 winning bid from a collector. A battle was also fought for an unusual life-size figure of a World War One soldier advertising Tommy Atkins cigarettes.

Anybody who thinks modern advertising can be unbelievably crass may like to reflect that as soldiers were dying in their hundred of thousands in Flanders and France, a commercial firm could get away with putting out something like this.

Standing 6ft tall to his tin helmet, (1.83m), the plaster and wood composition soldier in a khaki uniform and holding a rifle was painted with the words Tommy Atkins Cigarettes Well Worth Fighting For. It was eventually knocked down to the Bygones Museum in Torquay at £1500.

Elsewhere, a large rubberoid toucan figure (a thin film of rubber over a wire base) on a green base with two circular pint glass indents with the words Guinness Is Good For You, led the Guinness material at £1000, while a black and white Fry’s Cocoa enamel sign headlined this section at £1400 and an early red Nestle Chocolate vending machine, 2ft 5in (74cm), with white lettering advertising the chocolate bar at 1d, brought £560.

BBR Auctions, Elsecar, June 16
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent