At 1818 Auctioneers we cover a vast area of expertise across our team. It even extends to live steam trains and models and it’s easy to see why they attract collectors.
The industrial revolution would not have had the same impact without the invention of the steam engine, a source of power for railways, machines, factories, ships and mines. For many collectors and history enthusiasts, small-scale live steam models are a hugely fascinating way to connect to the past and marvel at this clever form of power.
Recent sale success suggests this is a strong market if the quality of workmanship is high. For instance, a very well-engineered scratch-built vertical live steam copper and brass boiler with single-piston and flywheel made £800.
We also value and auction models powered by live steam which can range in gauge size from 0 gauge to large 10 1/4 inch gauge – including garden-sized locomotives. Of these, we find the 7 1/4 inch, heavier locomotives do the best at auction.
The Birmingham based, Mamod, who have been manufacturing Mamod live steam models since 1936 is a name that does well too. Through the saleroom we’ve seen good results of Mamod vehicles and accessories as well as roadsters, road rollers, steam, traction and stationary engines, showman’s tractors, steam trains and wagons and London buses, and fire engines. Given the quality of their work, and the passion and quality engineering that goes into new models, this is a name that we expect to continue to do well at auction.
Like many niche auction categories, the live steam sales attract highly enthusiastic buyers, including those from northern Europe, and there’s usually a make and model to suit every collector and their pocket.