Art&Antiques: Stephenson's Rocket model train and Tri-ang pedal car in Cork sale

Hornby model model in original box for auction at Lynes and Lynes

The model of Stephenson’s Rocket (€150-€250)

The model of Stephenson’s Rocket (€150-€250)

 

Model trains captivated children for more than a century, and what was once seen as valueless toys have emerged in recent decades as important collectors’ items. Often seen as icons of innovation and progress, the difference with model trains and other collectables is they are ones you can actually interact with.

The highest price at auction was $253,000 (€214,068) for a rare Lionel set from 1936, which sold at a Stout sale in Ohio, 2006. Music mogul Pete Waterman, of Stock Aiken and Waterman, a keen railway enthusiast, sold off most of his collection in 2015 achieving £627,229 (€729,780), while the most expensive model railway in the world and worth a staggering €12 million is Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg with 930 trains and 13,000m of track.

Cork auctioneer Lynes and Lynes’ sale on Saturday, September 18th, of the contents from Munster properties features a lovely Stephenson’s Rocket in its original box. Based on the design of the Robert Stephenson locomotive from 1829 – now on display in the National Railway Museum in York – by toy manufacturer Hornby, this lovely set is a working model which runs on steam with the boiler fired by lighter fuel. It is listed with an estimate of €150-€250 but could well achieve more given that the company produced a new range to mark the centenary of the Hornby Railways brand in 2020.

Pedal car

There is also a lucrative market for toy cars, and these tiny creations can often sell for tens of thousands of euro. As with any collectables, toy cars are more valuable if they remain in mint condition in their original box.

Meccano’s Dinky 505 Foden Flat Truck, complete with chains from 1952, achieved £12,000 (€13,963) in 2003, while Matchbox vehicles have sold for in excess of €10,000, with the record being $100,000 (€84,693) for a Hot Wheels White 1968 Camaro in the US. The Cork sale lists an old metal pedal Tri-ang car with an estimate of €150-€250.

Also featured amongst the 400 lots of furniture, silver, paintings, mirrors and light fittings is a fine Irish Georgian long case clock by J Burton in Dublin (€1,500-€2,000). Long case clocks have been through several cycles of fashion since their invention 350 years ago, and the availability of instant time through digital technology on our phones and computers negates the need for a large piece of furniture to tell the time. But these are works of real craftsmanship so have an aesthetic value far beyond their utilitarian function of telling the time.

A Tri-ang metal pedal car (€150-€250)
A Tri-ang metal pedal car (€150-€250)

Along with a pair of stuffed pheasants by Rohu of Cork (lot 72, €200-€300) and an excellent quality Lunaraine mink jacket (lot 95, €100-€200), is an 18th century Irish walnut double-sided table which should attract good interest (lot 145, €4,000-€6,000).

Two top lots in the silver section, 161 and 104 respectively, are a cup weighing 51oz with inscriptions for North Kildare Harriers, Point to Point Races, 1925, listed at €400-€600, and a heavy two-handled tray weighing 93oz, estimated at €500-€700.

lynesandlynes.com

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