Wagoners medals amaze at auction

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AN exceptionally rare set of World War I medals awarded to Carter G R Dale, of the Wagoners Special Reserve, sold for £950 at the weekend.

The medals, along with with associated items and paperwork, formed one of the highlights of Dee Atkinson and Harrison’s Militaria, Classic Toy and Sporting Auction.

The Wagoners’ Special Reserve was the brainchild of Sir Mark Sykes, 6th Baronet, of Sledmere, and these men became some of the first to go abroad in the First World War, driving the horse-drawn wagons that supplied the front line. Very few of their medals come on the market.

They went under the hammer during an excellent militaria section which contained a large number of edged weapons from a Bridlington estate, including many Eastern swords and daggers, military swords and bayonets, which varied in price considerably from £10 to £800.

Another estate from Hull provided a large private collection of medals including a military cross at £480 and two Korean medals at £900.

The auction contained a record number of lots with 511 going under the hammer and created international interest with well over 200 pre sale emails and requests for images and condition reports and numerous telephone enquiries from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, India, Italy, France and America.

The sale got off to a good start with a penny-in-the-slot arcade machine making £320 and an Art Deco airman table lighter selling for £350. Four albums of late 19th Century photographs of New Zealand, Fiji realised £650 - going to London against fierce bidding from New Zealand.

A good selection of collectable toys saw a part built model of a Marshall steam engine realise £190 and a Mamod steam traction engine £90. Lego from the 1980’s created international interest with an unopened passenger train set going to America for £340 and two space sets in one lot selling for £155. Early Subbuteo always does well and one lot containing 18 boxed teams from the 1960’s/70’s made £320.

Playworn early diecast models by Dinky and Corgi proved particularly saleable with two lots each containing 27 vehicles selling for £200 and £230. Two mid 20th Century straw filled teddy bears found a new home at £150 and doll buyers were noticeably selective with early 20th Century bisque head dolls selling for up to £230 but later composition and plastic dolls proving difficult to find buyers.

A small model railway section was very successful finding buyers for every lot with a Hornby Dublo set for £180 and a boxed limited edition set of three Hornby locomotives for £170 being the highest prices.

The sale received national media attention thanks to the inclusion of a rare German doll of Princess Elizabeth produced in 1929 when she was only three and a half years old.

The manufacturers Schoenau and Hoffmeister sought an endorsement from Buckingham Palace but this was refused as the Royal Family felt the doll made the young princess look rather chubby, and it never went into full production.

The doll’s 75-year-old owner, Carol Regan, a retired landlady from Bridlington, said she had been given it as present about 70 years ago. It sold for a mid estimate £320 at the auction, perhaps also helped by being sold in Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee year.

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