Toy Valuation Fundraiser for Horsham Museum

Toovey’s toy specialist Chris Gale with an array of collectors toys including a boxed Triang Wrenn locomotive, a Bassett-Lowke lifeboat and other tinplate and die-cast toys

This week I am in the company of Toovey’s toy specialist, Chris Gale who is preparing for his annual toy valuation fundraising event on the morning of Saturday 14th March at the Horsham Museum.

Chris remarks “People are often unaware of how valuable their old toys are and this free auction valuation event gives people the chance to find out and benefit the Horsham Museum as well.”

“Since 2002 I’ve sold more than £1.5 million pounds of toys and models for collectors from across Sussex and the UK in Toovey’s specialist auctions.”

A Bing tinplate clockwork open top double deck bus with external staircase and driver canopy, lithographed with destination boards and advertisements

I ask Chris to describe a few of his favourite toys. He pauses and says “One of my favourite toys was the Bing tinplate clockwork open top double deck bus which sold for £2800. It was beautifully made. Remarkable quality, especially as by the 1920s Bing was one of Germany’s most prolific toy manufacturers. The designs were lithographed onto steel sheets. The designs were then stamped out of the metal and assembled using tabs and slots. The Great Depression brought the company into decline and with the rise of the Nazis the Jewish Bing family came to England.”

An 18th century turned, carved and painted wooden swivel-head doll

“The 18th century turned, carved and painted wooden swivel-head doll I discovered was also exceptional. She had brown hair, black glass eyes, red painted lips and cheeks and the lined eyebrows were emphasised with dots. Her jointed body was wooden except for the upper arms which were stuffed with cotton. The doll came with a letter from the family stating it was bought new in Bath by an Ann Gibbs with her uncle Admiral Gayton in 1790, wonderful provenance, it realised £6400.”

A number of valuable toys have been discovered at previous Horsham Museum valuation events. Chris Gale who is donating his time explains: “If items valued at the event are subsequently consigned for auction with us at Toovey’s we will give a third of our seller’s commission to the Horsham Museum to help with its important work.”

For a morning of fun and free pre-sale valuations come to the Horsham Museum & Art Gallery, The Causeway, Horsham, RH12 1HE on Saturday 14th March, 10am to 12 noon. Toovey’s next specialist toy sale will be held on 20th May 2020.