Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s first Collectors’ Sale of 2017 proved to be a resounding success with a selling rate of over 94% and outstanding prices recorded across all sections.

Heading a string of exceptional results was a Jaques boxwood and ebony Staunton pattern chess set in a 19th century carton pierre papier mache casket. Wear to the Gothic Revival box did not deter bidders and a prolonged battle involving the internet and two telephone lines finally saw the hammer fall, in a move of ‘check-mate’, at £5,000.

A sell-out series of coin lots included a collection that had come in to one of the company’s regular Saturday morning valuation events at the Sedgemoor Auction Centre, Junction 24 of the M5, just outside Bridgwater. This took a combined £1,160.

Among the militaria a Great War and later B.E.M. gallantry group of four medals to Private C.W. Allen, South Wales Borderers, realised £750, while a Candahar, Ghuznee, Cabul medal to Private T. West, 31st Regiment, fetched £480. A much admired British 1896 pattern cavalry officer’s sword, bearing the regimental device of the 3rd (Prince of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, was contested to £650, and a post-1902 Welsh Regiment officer’s home service blue cloth helmet, in its original painted hat tin, made £450.

Printed paper and manuscript material included a small album of mainly portrait postcards (£260); several sheets of Mexican stamps on covers (£380); a slip of paper autographed by four of the five Marx brothers (£380); and a Moet & Chandon visitor book signed by, among others, Diana, Princess of Wales (£420). A group of comics, from a large collection that has been offered in installments to maximise the return, sold collectively for over £1,180.

Toys are a GTH speciality and this sale underlined the strength of the current market. A hard-to-better Meccano No.9 set from the early 1970s, the contents still shrink-wrapped, made £320 and a shoe-box full of play-worn Star Wars figures, side arms and accessories sold to an overseas buyer for £480. A rare ‘Dan les Airs’ airship parlour game, with a damaged box, was bid to £350, and a collection of mainly 1/18 scale diecast Formula 1 racing cars, divided into attractive lots, brought £2,800 for their delighted vendor.

A significant 170-lot model railway section was very well received and added in excess of £18,100 to the day’s total. Leading the way was a superb O gauge Lee Marsh Model Co. G.W.R. Dean Single locomotive ‘Britannia’, at £1,600, followed by an electric Bassett-Lowke L.N.E.R. Class A3 locomotive ‘Flying Scotsman’, at £480. A OO gauge ‘Devon Belle’ train pack, with extra coaches, realised £220, while a Wrenn B.R. West Country Class locomotive, ‘Bodmin’, with minor paint loss, took £170. A largely unboxed Hornby Dublo collection, one of several in the sale, was bid to £350.

Continuing the theme, a single-owner group of railway books sold for the sum of £990, with the same client’s motoring books yielding a further £600. Various wood-working planes drew interest from as far away as the USA and came to £430, while a monocular microscope in a box labelled for Adie of London, sparked fierce competition and forced a winning bid of £1,000. A Lachenal concertina sold for £280 and a Selby horn gramophone for £260.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt are already accepting entries for their next specialist collectors sale on Friday, June 2. Free valuations take place at The Octagon Saleroom every Monday, between 9am and 1pm and, on a monthly basis, at the company’s residential offices at Bridgwater, Chard, Ilminster, South Molton and Tiverton. Please check the website for full particulars. Monthly valuation sessions are also conducted at the Sedgemoor Auction Centre, the next scheduled for Saturday 18th March, between 10am and 12noon. If preferred, home visits can be arranged entirely without charge or obligation for the added convenience of potential vendors.

For friendly, expert advice please contact Peter Rixon at antiques.saleroom@gth.net or on 01823 332525.