Rare toy figures under hammer at Sheffield auction

A collection of 30,000 toy figures dating from the early 20th century will go under the hammer in Sheffield.

Specialist valuer John Morgan found the collection in a three-storey South Yorkshire house in late spring this year and said as soon as he opened the door he ‘knew this was not the conventional fare’.

He added: “On display, in storage, in display drawers they were all over the house, alongside other collections including toy forts, all fascinating and initially very overwhelming.”

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“This is without doubt one of the most important collections of its type to come to the open market in 2017.”

Mr Morgan said it was difficult to say exactly how many figurines have been collected – more than 30,000 – as the majority are not in boxes.

He said that the toys range from the ‘extremely rare to the common’ with a cataloguing and sorting system and a reference book collection that showed a real insight into the subject.

The collection is diverse with figures made of metal, plastic and composite materials and taking various forms including members of the military, civilians and animals.

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The makers of some of the models include the renowned Richard Courtenay, modeller of medieval knights in the early 20th century, and more modern plastic figures made by Chinese company Kentoys.

Their original prices range from £10 to hundreds of pounds.

The toy metal and plastic figures have been split into three parts and will be sold at Sheffield Auction Gallery’s Fine Figure Auction on October 19.