War Hero's toy airplane could bring £20,000 at auction

War Hero's toy airplane could bring 20,000 at auction

A distinguished war veteran's toy aircraft collection is expected to bring high-flying figures in a May sale

Select items from Geoffrey Randolph Webster's collection of toy aircraft are to be sold at auction on May 11-12, 2012.

GR monoplane Britains Monoplane Flying Boat

Geoffrey Randolph Webster, or GR as he is affectionately known, served as a pilot during the Vietnam War. A highly decorated and much celebrated veteran, he collected a list of medals and awards for his service and led a 30 year career as CEO of Givaudan Fragrances Inc., before turning his attention to aircraft of smaller proportions. Now, the remarkable war hero is to sell some key items from his equally remarkable collection of toy aircraft in Denver.

The most prominent item offered is his rare Britains Monoplane Flying Boat. Made in 1936 only, this is one of the rarest and most valuable of its kind, and the only boxed example known. The auction will be the first time one of the Flying Boats has been seen in public sale for over 30 years."James Opie, who authored the premier guide on Britains soldiers, rates this toy at the top of rarity for Britains," said Tom Sage Jr., Chief Operating Officer of the auction house.

"We think GR's book example, which is estimated at $12,000 to $16,000, might even reach $20,000." Despite its rarity and provenance, the Monoplane will not be the top-lot in the auction. That position will be filled by a charming hand-painted tin Marklin clockwork battleship.

The German ship, circa 1905, has an early ramp front and is marked New York on the hull. Despite scratching, the estimate for this otherwise excellent battleship is set at $20,000-$30,000. Fans of aviation memorabilia will want to see Paul Fraser Collectibles' Wright Bros. photos from the collection of Charles Rolls. You can also see more of our great aviation items here.

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