Bassett-Lowke’s model of the bullet-nosed Pacific locomotive and tender, ‘The Coronation’, ranks among the rarest of all British toy trains.
Although its picture appeared proudly on the cover of their gauge 0 catalogues in 1937, this sleek, futuristic model was entirely handmade and only available by special order.
Whether decked out in royal blue and silver livery for the 1937 Coronation or in red and yellow (as issued in 1939), it is thought that fewer than 30 were made.
It is some years since one turned up at auction (Thornaby toy specialists Vectis sold three different examples in 2000 for £8500 each and another in 2006 for £5800), but this one surfaced at Wellers in Chertsey on February 21-23.
Despite its less than pristine appearance (including some paint loss to the locomotive, and considerable paint loss to the tender), it was in relatively good condition - most of the surviving Coronation class models have been professionally restored.
Six telephone bidders and several commission bids saw it reach £7800.
The buyer's premium 20%.