Scratch-built train collection steams up sale

The Brian Elliott Collection of scratch-built live steam fine scale models attracted steam enthusiasts from across the country when it sold in Tennants Auctioneers’ recent Summer Transport Sale.

The late Brian Elliott of West Yorkshire ran his family’s brick manufacturing business, and always had industry at the forefront of his mind. However, since childhood he had had a passion for building model trains and began making small scale locomotives at home. Over the years his skill and knowledge grew, alongside the size of the model locomotives and steam engines he built, and Mr Elliott was still making his models in his eighties. He was fascinated by the planning, designing and technical precision needed to make such fine models, his enthusiasm and ability shining through in the beautifully engineered and well-built models.

Many of the models on offer in the sale were beautifully rendered copies of real locomotive engines and traction engines. The highlight of the collection was a very well-engineered 10 ¼“ Gauge 0-4-2T Collett Class 14xx locomotive finished in green as Great Western Railway 1400, which smashed the pre-sale estimate of £4,000-6,000 to sell for £18,000 (above).

Competitive bidding in the packed saleroom ensured high prices throughout the collection, with excellent prices seen for the likes of a 10 ¼” gauge garden railway set, which sold for £14,000; a finely engineered Baldwin Locomotive Works 10 ¼” Gauge (Narrow Gauge) locomotive, selling for £16,000 (below); and a well-engineered 10 ¼ “ Gauge 0-4-2 Locomotive Lion, which steamed to £10,000.

Highlights from the rest of the sale included a 1990 Peugeot 205 GTI, once owned by Alf Wight OBE, also known as James Herriot. The Peugeot has only just over 30,000 miles on the clock, and the classic collector’s vehicle sold for £22,000. Once again, the varied range of automobilia attracted keen bidders, and the most competed over lots were an original Shell opaque glass petrol pump globe, which sold for £600, and a rare 1906 De Dion promotional book/stereoscopic viewer produced to advertise the French auto manufacturers, which sold for £350.