GWR live steam models set to attract global interest


By Geoff Courtney

Stunning live steam models of two GWR locomotives are set to star at a Dreweatts’ transport sale on September 20, with a combined estimate of up to £200,000. Both in 7¼in gauge, they are No. 4708, one of only nine in a class of mixed traffic 2-8-0s, and No. 6860 Aberporth Grange.

Western extremity: A smart GWR No. 6860 Aberporth Grange is ready for the off at Penzance with a Plymouth-bound train on July 23, 1957. A 7¼in gauge live steam model of the 1939-built 4-6-0 (inset) will be a star of a Dreweatts’ auction on September 20, with a top estimate of £100,000. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE/J DAVENPORT

The models, made by leading modelmaker David Aitken and from a single collection, are each estimated to sell for up to £100,000, and such is their high exhibition standard they are expected to generate major interest among collectors both in the UK and internationally.

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Michael Matthews, Dreweatts’ steam and model engineering consultant for the past 15 years and an auctioneer for 50 years, said: “The models are simply stunning, of the very highest standard, and indeed the Grange is one of the best I have ever seen.”

Authenticity and accuracy

Michael, a 69-year-old retired chartered surveyor, said that to ensure as much authenticity and accuracy as possible, the model of No. 4708 was made from original drawings and patterns based on the full-size engine. It is 8ft 9in long, and is believed to be one of only two of a 4700 class ever constructed in 7¼in gauge.

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