Steam engines produced by iconic Northampton toy maker Bassett-Lowke to be auctioned

Jonathan Humbert from JP Humbert auctioneers with some model steam engines.

Jonathan Humbert from JP Humbert auctioneers with some model steam engines.

Have your say

Working scale-model steam engines and the tools that made them are being auctioned from a former Basset-Lowke employee’s lifetime collection.

The items belonged to Vic Taylor, a model engneer who worked for the iconic, Northampton toy-making firm, which had a shop in Gold Street, as well as at Trix.

He died recently, aged 86, and his hand-made models and tools and are to be sold unreserved in an auction later this month.

Jonathan Humbert, of JP Humbert Auctioneers, in Towcester, said: “Some were made from very professional kits, but others were made from scratch

“These are not just toys, but serious precision-engineered bits of kit.

“They’re breathtaking to see in action.”

Many of the models run on water and solid fuel with the same kinds of working parts as the full-sized versions.

The collection includes beam engines, stationary engines and traction engines, as well as Matchbox and Hornby engines.

The centrepiece is arguably a 36-inch steam-powered Basset-Lowke model liner.

Mr Humbert said: “We’re very proud to offer this collection. It’s obvious Mr Taylor rarely threw anything away and there were seemingly a huge number of tools that ‘might come in useful’.

“The models were obviously a labour of love and represent a lifetime’s collection.”

Mr Taylor’s collection will go under the hammer on Tuesday March 18, from 5pm, along with a collection of vintage vinyl records, including signed Beatles albums.

Back to the top of the page