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Car collector and master restorer Nigel Dawes has consigned 450 model cars to Busby’s sale in Bridport on May 4.

Dawes has built the collection over the last 20 years at his medieval home at Birtsmorton Court in Worcestershire. It spans the history of motor racing from 1900 to the present day.

Offered across two lots, the group comprises largely 1:18 scale models, and includes 70 Le Mans winners and a collection of 82 motorcycles. The majority have been made by Dawes with a few exceptions, such as this 1924 Bentley 3 Litre, which won Le Mans in 1924 with drivers John Duff and Frank Clement. It is guided in a lot comprising 71 models at £8000-10,000.


This pair of small German parcel-gilt silver cups and covers was created in c.1626 for the man who is thought to have fired the first shot which started the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48).

Engraved with scenes depicting the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, The Resurrection and the Last Judgement, the cups were created when religious turmoil was engulfing much of Europe.

Inscribed with the words, On the day of Job, 9 May 1626 Christoph Hamer of the Eger town council was driven into exile, they commemorate the exile of Hamer from his home town on the charge of disloyalty to the emperor.

The cups are estimated at £15,000-25,000 in Sotheby’s European decorative arts offering, From Earth to Fire, on May 4 in London.


Transport Collector Auctions (in association with Dominic Winter Auctioneers) is holding a sale of motoring literature and early cycling on May 11 in South Cerney, Gloucestershire.

A highlight is this JK Starley, Rational Rover safety bicycle from c.1889. Described as the ‘Holy Grail of the Cycle Industry’, the historic model was the first practical safety bicycle and revitalised the industry.

Easy to mount and ride, it incorporated a low saddle and chain drive to the rear wheel, features which were quickly copied by competitors.

Estimate £10,000-15,000.