If you thought model railway sets and toy trains were for children, you had better think again. A recent sale at Noel Barrett's Antique Toy Auction, which took place at the end of last month in New Hope, Pennsylvania, proved that collectors love them just as much.
Thundering past all the other lots to sell for the highest amount was a 408E standard gauge set made by American toy train manufacturers, Lionel.
Comprised of an electric engine and four compartmented coaches, this brilliant little lot was only estimated to sell for between $800-1,200. It ended up reaching a final price of $35,395, an amount almost 30 times higher than its top estimate.
The high price was achieved not just because of the rarity of the set, but also because the wonderfully detailed coaches were in great condition and came with their original boxes.
Such an incredible sale really does show that collectibles provide an amazing alternative investment opportunity, as it is unlikely traditional saving methods would such a good return on your money.
This was not to only train-related lot to power its way to a terrific sale, as an exquisite Carette-gauge 1 #2350 Locomotive, originally valued at between $12,000-15,000, essentially doubled its estimate to bring home $29,500.
Also wonderfully detailed, with magnificent authentic features, it is clear why it sold for such a high amount because it would take pride of place in any collection.
Continuing this theme, another top piece was the hand painted Marklin Central Bahnhof train station , which was clearly made with a huge amount of effort to make it as realistic as possible.
The excellent decorative features, including tables, chairs and benches, helped make this 'truly exceptional example' one of the stars of the sale. Again it beat its expected price of between $10,000-15,000 to make $23,600 instead.
Investing in antique toys is probably one of the easiest ways to get into the collecting market, because of the large amount of pieces out there and the wide range of different types available.
As this sale showed, it can certainly have its rewards.
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