News & Insights

The Tom Stanley Collection of Shipping Memorabilia

3rd July 2019.

Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire are delighted to be offering for sale on 24th July, Part I of the Tom Stanley Collection of Airline and Shipping Memorabilia in their Toys, Models & Collectables Sale.

Part I of the collection primarily consists of dining room ware from passenger shipping lines; dating in large part from the 1950s, the collection also includes examples dating back to the Edwardian era. Part II of the collection, due to be sold on 27th November, will include pieces relating to the Titanic. Highlights of the lots in the July sale include an engraved White Star Line meat dish and cover (estimate: £60-80 plus buyer’s premium), and a Cunard Line enamel sign reading ‘Cunard Line London-Southampton Direct to Canada’ (estimate: £200-300 plus buyer’s premium).

Thomas Stanley first found an interest in ships in 1948, watching ships sail Southampton Water from the Isle of Wight. As a child he wrote to shipping companies requesting postcards of their ships, which were duly sent – sparking a lifelong appreciation of both ships and postcards. In addition to a long career as an architect in the health service, Stanley also dealt in postcards, during which time he amassed this extraordinary and expansive collection of shipping and airline memorabilia.

Also included in the same sale is a Private Collection of Benbros Mighty Midgets, small-scale diecast models made between 1951 and 1969 that went into production before the more famous Matchbox models. Benbros’ models were more crudely cast than their rival toys, which may account for their relative scarcity. In recent years their quaint charm has attracted a strong following, and this collection is thought to be the largest to ever come on the market. Indeed, only rarely do examples of Benbros’ models come up for sale at auction. Highlights of the collection include two Benbros Tradesman Sample Sets, each estimated at £500-700 (plus buyer’s premium).

At the opposite end of the toy-making spectrum, come two P2 Alfa Romeo models made by CIJ (Compagnie Industrielle de Jouet), the holy grail of toy cars; the top lot being a silver economy version, which is estimated to sell for £2,500-3,500 (plus buyer’s premium). Also of note in the sale are a horse racing board game made by master cabinetmakers F L Hausburg of Liverpool (estimate: £400-600 plus buyer’s premium), and a BR(NE) ‘See Britain By Train’ poster of Yorkshire by Gyrth Russel (estimate: £300-500 plus buyer’s premium).

The online catalogue will be available 11th July.

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