And within that, forming an interesting collecting field offering simple storage and a wide range at ‘more affordable’ prices, comes car badges. If you really want to go further, this can split into radiator badges, cap badges, race badges, club badges, mascots and advertising badges for such products as oil, petrol, tyres and spark plugs…
Let’s just stick with ‘car badges’ as a good overall title.
Several salerooms hold classic car auctions with dedicated automobilia sections, while a few offer specialised offerings under the automobilia title, while a few lots will come up randomly in more general auctions.
Falling into the specialised automobilia sales category is Richard Edmonds Auctions of Chippenham in Wiltshire. This saleroom holds regular auctions along the lines of Motoring Ephemera, Books, Mascots, Badges and Spares, such as the one which took place on October 18 last year.
Among the varied array, a Danish Club enamel badge and two military Gaunt badges sold for £140.
A selection of assorted enamel and other badges including Butlins, some Continental rallies etc, sold for £90 – showing how accessible this collecting field can be on a tight budget.
Sticking with Richard Edmonds, demonstrating the mushrooming effect of this collecting field was the auction held on February 8 – bringing in ’petroliana’. Expect items branded with Castrol, Shell and so on in such forms as oil cans and advertising signs.
This sale, titled Petroliana and Automobilia - The Gary Dowell collection part two, included a pair of AA Garage enamel signs mounted back to back in a metal frame, by Franco, 22in x 2ft 7in (56 x 79cm), which sold for a hammer price of £600, and a rare Shell 'Famous Hills' lozenge shaped enamel sign - Ascent of Lynton Hill 500ft - with some retouching, 3ft 6in (1.07m) square, which made £550.
Bountiful Bonhams auctions
The auctions powerhouse features classic cars and automobilia as a major feature of its business, holding various large sales every year. The Collector's Motor Cars and Automobilia auction on December 3 at London Olympia featured this Rolls-Royce Ltd Motor Club enamelled car badge by Willmott Breeden (pictured top), chromed with black enamel centre, marked WB to reverse, 13.5cm wide, which sold for a hammer price of £200.
Also offered at the same sale was a “fine and rare” Automobile Club of China member's car badge, 1920s, number 1097, nickel plated bronze with inset enamel pagoda centre, under a 'blue sky with a white sun' enamel finial, 16.5cm high, with some loss to plating, dark patina to remining nickel. It sold for a hammer price of £600.
Mascots at Bonhams
Bonhams is holding a huge single-owner auction of Rene Lalique glass on February 20, including many mascots, but a few Lalique designs also featured in its Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale on February 7 in Paris.
A Chrysis glass mascot introduced on March 21, 1931, acid-etched R.Lalique France to front of base, in clear glass with satin finish, 13cm high, sold for a hammer price of €2200 (£1940).
Another French mascot design, but this time by Jean Verschneider, c.1920, 7.5 high x 12in long (19 x 30cm), fetched €4200 (£3700). Signed around base, this Cire Perdue hollow cast nickel-plated bronze mascot was cast at the Goldscheider foundry. It depicts an allegorical female nude riding a winged wheel, mounted on a large period radiator cap above a turned wooden display base.
Automobilia in general sales
Many car badges and other automobilia feature individually in more general auctions held in regional salerooms. For example, in its Christmas homes and interiors sale on December 11 last year Sworders of Stansted Mountfichet in Essex sold two Bentley 'B' car mascots, 10cm long x 5.5cm high, for a hammer price of £110.
The Medal & Militaria with Country Pursuits auction at Lacy Scott & Knight of Bury St Edmunds on December 14 last year featured a chrome car mascot designed by Louis Lejeune in the form of a jumping horse with side saddle rider, stamped verso LL within a circle, Lejeune made in England, 12.5cm high, together with two other chrome car mascots, one in the form of a horse with jockey up, the other a galloping horse. They sold for £95.
At Adam Partridge’s auction on December 5 last year in Liverpool a £90 hammer price delivered an interesting selection of automobilia: a bird car mascot, a bird and sphere car mascot, a set of vintage mud guard mounted car lights, a front headlamp from a vintage car, a George VI coronation car mascot, and a vintage RAC associate car badge by Collins of London marked M13653 (7).