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.

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.