Marklin model ship beats estimate by 26.6% at UK toy auction

A Märklin model ship has beaten its estimate by 26.6% at an auction in the UK.

The circa 1904 Märklin model of HMS Terrible sold for £76,000, against an estimate of £40,000-60,000.

Produced in superb detail, the 63cm-long steam-powered ship features a pneumatically operated rudder.

HMS Terrible
The 108-year-old model achieved £76,000

"It is the most expensive thing we have sold," Hugo Marsh, of the Newbury-based auctioneer, told the UK's Daily Mail newspaper.

"As far as we know, it the most expensive single toy ever sold in the UK. We're extremely chuffed with the result."

The model was in superb condition, with just its life boats missing.

HMS Terrible had seen service for the Royal Navy in the Boer War in 1899 and China in 1900, having first been introduced in 1895.

Germany-based Märklin is one of the most popular toy manufacturers with collectors.

Established in 1859, the company first became known for its doll house accessories, before entering the model trains and boats market. Despite recent financial difficulties, the company remains in operation.

In January 2005, 100 pieces of Märklin train collectibles, worth an estimated €1m, were stolen from the company's museum in Germany before being recovered two months later.

The auction also featured a circa 1912 Märklin model of the Cunard Line's Carmania ship, which sold for £24,000, far above its £15,000 high estimate.

A circa 1919 Bassett-Lowke clockwork Great Northern Railway engine doubled its $1,200 estimate with a $2,500 showing.

Paul Fraser Collectibles will bring you further news from the top end of the toys market over the coming months so make sure you check back here soon.

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