Added to a good provenance and excellent condition, it ensured that Britains set 60, the 1st Bombay Lancers, sold for £11,000 at Teesside saleroom Vectis Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) on August 28, against an estimate of £2000-3000.
This first issue comprised an officer with extended sabre arm, trumpeter on grey horse and 13 lancers. It had come to Vectis, in Thornaby-on-Tees, after an email enquiry regarding the discovery of three Britains sets in a loft from the finder who was interested to see if they might be worth auctioning – and this “extraordinarily rare” set, as the saleroom put it, the first example of its type to be sold by Vectis, clearly was.
It notched up the top result of the day, selling to a US online bidder.
Vectis specialist Simon Clark said: “It is very rare to find a set of this age in ‘untouched’ condition still contained in its original box.”
In the same sale, Britains Racing Colours of Famous Owners series produced from 1925-60 provided several four-figure results that Vectis believes to be a world auction record for this model.
A pre-war model of the Earl of Ellesmere Colours achieved £1300, while that in the colours of Lt Cmdr EWB Leake, an extremely rare model from 1936, sold for £1400. The saleroom said that “previously the only known examples to sell over the £1000 mark were the famous Duchess of Norfolk ‘Mickey Mouse’ colours”.