A rare Britains Boer War army service supply column is among the top lots at Old Toy Soldier Auctions.
It's expected to make $12,000-14,000 in the October 17 sale of the James Cook collection in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Cook runs a bullion investment company and his knowledge of investing bled over into his hobby.
As auction house founder Ray Haradin explains: "Jim was an active buyer in the 1990s and was one of my customers…
"Jim always liked extreme rarity and condition and wanted only the highest-quality sets available. He always took the viewpoint of a collector, but because of his profession, it was also second nature for him to seek out the best investments."
The present lot is one of very few surviving pre-WW1 sets from Britains, one of the earliest British manufacturers of toy soldiers, and is one of 16 large sets offered in Cook's collection.
Haradin comments: "Britains traditionally priced their sets according to the number of pieces in each set.
"The big display sets, by virtue of the number of pieces they contained, were expensive. Not that many were made because only the wealthy could afford them.
"Of the 100 sets in Jim's collection, probably 16 are large display sets, and every one of them is special. You just don't find sets of that type, complete with all of the right figures and in such nice condition."
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