1. Trains indeed galore at SAS
Newbury saleroom Special Auction Services has made a name for itself with dedicated toy and model sales, and in particular its Trains Galore offering. As the sale title suggests, these are mammoth affairs and the latest stretches over two days on December 11-12.
Stand-out lots include large-size live steam locomotives, but we have selected another item on offer as a highlight with a nod towards the £64,500 paid recently for an original Flying Scotsman nameplate – a record sum.
Estimated at £500-700 is a smaller version of probably the most famous steam engine in the world, in this case an O Gauge three-rail electric version of Flying Scotsman. The 4-6-2 locomotive and tender came from renowned model manufacturer Bassett-Lowke, which made many beautiful toy trains, ref 5310/0 in lithographed BR lined green as no 60103, in original boxes.
2. Fashion doll in bespoke outfit
While Sindy dolls will be immediately familiar to several generations of children, it is certainly less likely that Sebastian of London will be recognised.
Ipswich saleroom Lockdales is offering a Sebastian of London c.1969 ‘closing eye’ fashion doll, about 22in (56cm) high, wearing a faux leather brown coat and a pair of white faux leather boots. The clothing was hand-made. Only around 100 of these dolls are thought to have been made.
It is estimated at £30-50 in the December Sale # 161 which includes more than 40 toys and models.
3. Rocking into the Cotswolds
Vintage rocking horses often sell well at auction and on December 4-5, as part of its Toys, Dolls, Models, Antiques & Interiors sale, Cotswold Auction Company is offering an impressive example estimated at £300-500.
The carved wood child's rocking horse with string mane and tail, and reupholstered saddle, stands on a stained pine base.
4. Balloon toys on the rise in Kent
If you are going to hold toy soldier auctions, it helps to be able to count on the expertise of James Opie, one of the most respected experts of this collecting field.
Opie is part of the team at Kent saleroom C&T Auctioneers and his specialist knowledge underpins the December 12 sale to be held in Tunbridge Wells.
Not on a military theme so much, one of the stand-out lots, estimated at £2000-3000, is a Heyde small scale SA Andree's Arctic Balloon Expedition, 1897. It includes Arctic Survey dirigible balloon with friction steering ropes, two baskets, one crewman, propeller, suspension pulley and Swedish flag, with No.2 size Arctic Exploration Team, man hauled sled with three supplies, tent, ice floe, polar bear, surveyors with theodolite and five other personnel.
German toy manufacturers were dominant for most of the later 19th century and George Heyde of Dresden began making lead soldiers in 1872, competing with Nuremberg firms at the time.
5. Bing name drives auction demand
Another massive German firm dominating the toy market before the world wars and Great Depression affected production and demand was Bing. The Nuremberg firm was founded by Ignaz and Adolf Bing and started making toys in 1860s.
Bing is well-known for its toy trains but among its many other products were cars.
German saleroom Anticomondo Spielzeugauktionen is offering a classic 12in (31cm) long Bing sedan car toy with an opening price of €2400 on December 7-8.
The auction house holds toy sales four times a year, in March, June, September and December. It is based in Bornheim, in the Rhineland between Cologne and Bonn.