Master model railway builder collection steams off to auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 17th March, 2020

The collection of one of Australia’s leading master model railway builders, the late Frank Kelly – who died in June 2016, will be auctioned from 2pm Sunday March 22 by Leski Auctions at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.

His handiwork was admired by all who knew him and the first 55 lots of the sale gives collectors the perfect opportunity to acquire one of his models.

Leski Auctions describes every lot as unique and testament to Frank’s ability to build from scratch by hand models of Victorian and South Australian locomotives and rolling stock.

A typical example is an 1872 No 100 steam locomotive (lot 1) – based on the locomotive built at the temporary Williamstown Workshops, complete with dark green livery and gold trim and destined to haul the commissioner’s train.

Another is the 1880 W Class (W153) steam locomotive in black, green and brown livery with gold trim based on the engine built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia.

Many of Frank’s models are in both Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and the United States’ Smithsonian Museum.

Lots 56-129 features the late Queenslander Brian Telfer’s collection of stationary steam engines.   

Of particular note is lot 57, an early 1900s Falk Overtype stationary steam engine JF521, and a mid-1920s Bing steam traction engine (lot 69) with fixed cylinder and burnished brass boiler.

Lots 130-363 are the property of a passionate and enthusiastic collector of early toy manufacture, tin racers and models.

These include early Japanese racing carts (lot 137), early robots (lot 148), Batman in his early Batmobile (lot 162) and the 1950s “Atom Star” space car with a cop following on a motorcycle by Japan’s Yonezawa (lot 179).

Other items bound to attract plenty of collector interest include the circa 1930s all silver “SPEED” racer with driver in its original box by Kohno Kakuzo (lot 191), the Astroboy Robot Speed Racer (lot 202), the tin lithographed “MERRYMAKERS” mouse band by Marx (lot 208) and a tinplate German Uberlacker river boat.

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