The ref 2846 hand-finished Gauge 1 (or smaller) station, of soldered construction, sold for £4000 when offered in the latest of the huge Trains Galore sales at Special Auction Services (20% buyer’s premium) of Newbury. Estimated at £1500-1800, it had been consigned by one collector and bought by another.
SAS specialist Hugo Marsh said: “British-market Märklin stations are very rare, but this one had had quite a lot of retouching in places, hence we marked the price down, so we are very pleased with the result. Last one I remember selling was a bigger Churchbury station at Christie’s South Kensington in 1998 for £7500.”
Carette and Bassett-Lowke
Another early railway toy that performed well was a Carette for Bassett-Lowke 0 Gauge live-steam South-Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR) steam railmotor, made c.1907-9, incorporating a small spirit-fired locomotive unit.
The real-life unwieldy looking loco and carriage combinations must have seemed a great idea at the time but proved largely unpopular, being slow, riding along with a sway and featuring only one class of seat. The SECR versions made by Kitson in Leeds lasted from 1906-20 but had begun to be moved to storage in 1914.
The model version at SAS was more in demand, selling for £4800 against an estimate of £700-1000.
Marsh said: “The railmotor went from one UK collector to another. It is worth mentioning that it is actually made by Carette: it was not a long-lived arrangement, as Georges Carette was French and fled Germany in the Great War.
“He was a still a shareholder in Bassett-Lowke years later and a family friend. As a live-steam model it is extremely rare in original condition as they usually self-incinerate, with a bit of help from a small boy. It came from an incredible ‘old school’ attic collection from a gentleman who was buying in the 1960s. It required about four van loads, we received a liberal coating of soot, but the trains were all beautifully wrapped, boxed and thus protected.”