Toy boat found in paper bag sells for £1,800 in Sheffield

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A rare toy yacht has sold for £1,800 at a Sheffield auction – after being valued at £500 to £800.

The toy was found at the bottom of a brown paper bag in a cardboard box.

Sheffield Auction Gallery unearthed the tin­plate clockwork yacht, which has a ‘magical’ synchronised movement and it thought to have been made in Germany in the 1920s.

It was sold to a telephone bidder in the US after a very competitive bidding war.

Specialist auctioneer John Morgan initially thought the boat was a very average toy yacht.

But once he examined the yacht more closely he knew it was rare and valuable

He said: “As an auctioneer and valuer there’s nothing better than finding a special gem.”

Experts said the toy was is in very good condition for its age – one of the reasons why it is so rare – and would have belonged to well-­off family.

The cox four clockwork tinplate rowing boat measures 52cm long with the rowers in the dark blue colours of Oxford.

Auctioneers said the boat had generated ‘considerable interest’ among tinplate collectors.