Back to News

Ding, Ding, all Aboard the Bus!

It seems you wait hours for one bus to arrive and then several, or in this case almost one hundred, pull up at once! Arriving in style for the auction on Wednesday 4th September is a station full of rare and interesting buses.

The single owner collection encompasses vehicles which chart the evolution of the bus as we know it. There are transporters of all scales, mainly in tinplate from manufacturers spanning the globe.

From the UK, there is a fine selection of Minics (Triang) including an eye watering pre-WWII specimen in maroon finish, a Greenline (rural) single decker, 1950’s red and cream and even a late Minic with ‘Spot-On’ wheels.

Chad Valley is perhaps one of the best-known British toy producers, so it is no surprise to find a few editions from this Midlands based manufacturer. Several have a dual purpose, as not only being aesthetically pleasing they were distributed as biscuit or cracker containers.

On first glance what appears to be a Chad Valley, is in fact a scarce Burnett marked bus. This perhaps should not come as such a surprise, as when Burnett ceased trading just prior to WWII, Chad Valley took over and continued to release their items under the Chad Valley brand in the late 1940’s.

Another prolific tinplate company was Wells-Brimtoy. Registered in 1932 it was an amalgamation of two businesses Wells and Brimtoys, based in London. Clockwork, boxed examples and buses in coach livery are included in the auction, plus a colourful and fun ‘Pocket Series’ bus, typical of the period. These were a range in smaller scale, marketed as a budget line introduced by Wells-Brimtoy in 1952, taking account of lack of raw materials and utilising the latest in plastic mouldings alongside traditional lithographed tinplate. There is a magical clockwork bus from this producer which when wound, not only travels along but chimes its bell once and the bus stops, twice and it sets back off on its journey. 

Another bus which presents like a Minic, on closer inspection reveals itself to be a rare, marked ‘A Gay Miller Toy’ bus produced after WWII.

There are several high-profile German toy producers who due to the political regime in the 1930’s disappeared or were disbanded because of their religious faith or heritage of its owners. One such company was ‘Tipp & Co’. A leading worker at the factory Phillip Ullman, moved to the UK and founded another toy giant Mettoy. There are thought provoking ‘Tipp & Co’ issues in the sale.

Early French tinplate examples are rare and so the several on offer in the sale are sure to appeal. Dating from 1910 they comprise Charles Rossignol and Jouet de Paris pieces.  The anthology from steam bus to 6 then 4 wheelers through to diesel plots a timeline in itself. 

The Rico double decker bus, made in Spain, is in the British style but has the rear entrance on the other side, of course. It is well documented that Japanese toy companies copied British toys, the SSS (Japan) versions of Dinky buses being prime examples, duplications in all respects except for being on a much larger scale.

So, hop on, and don’t miss your stop! This forms part of a Two Day Single Owner Collection to be sold at Vectis starting with Simply Dinky on Tuesday 3rd September followed by more Specialist and Tinplate Auction on Wednesday 4th September 2019.


The catalogue for the sale will be free to view online approx. two to three weeks prior to the sale date on the website

For more information please contact David Bowers – or Andrew Reed or call +44 (0) 1642 750616.