A total of more than £92,000 was achieved in the first of this year’s two toys and collectors sales at Ilkley auction house Hartleys on April 13.

This is the best total Hartleys has had so far for this event in the 23 years the sales have been held, in spite of a reduced catalogue of only 590 lots.

A particularly low buy-in rate of only 52 lots, or 8.8 per cent, was one of the reasons for the total but some “excellent” prices helped towards the total, said managing director Andrew Hartley.

He said: “Dolls in particular were considerably down in number having had a hard couple of years, but take-up was much higher and the best price in the sale was included.

“This related to a rare Bru bisque swivel shoulder head character doll, dating back to around 1880, with original or contemporary clothing. The doll was marked on its shoulder and also on the one shoe, with the other one missing.

“In addition, the right index finger was missing and an overall refurbish and clean-up was urgently necessary. Nevertheless, against a lower estimate of £5,000 the bidding finally stopped at £9,000.

“Other doll prices included a late 19th-century Parian swivel head lady doll in original outfit 16” high, selling at £550, two poured wax shoulder head dolls found £500 and £640, an Armand Marseille 28” 390 Mulatto doll reached £500, and a Gebruder Heubach 13” bisque head googly eyed character doll also sold for £560.

“An unusual collection of thirteen items of Continental doll’s house furniture in printed paper-covered pine went way over estimate at £520, and a pair of 7” china shoulder head dolls with another 7 ½” bisque doll sold after a bidding battle in the room at £1,600.

“Once again, the teddy bear and soft toys section had its star lot. This was a Steiff 22” bear covered in what is now very pale gold plush, having been owned all its life by a lady born in 1918. Condition was very good for its age and the price reflected this at £3,400.

“The miscellaneous toys section included a Speaking Picture Book, c.1890, with eight plates and nine string pull tabs to work bellows operating animal noises, in very good condition, selling for £400, and a completely rusty Austin J40 pedal car in need of total renovation still demanded a bid of £640.

“A run of penny-in-the-slot machines was headed by an Allwin De Luxe oak cased amusement machine selling for £675, and a Mills Black Beauty fruit machine in working order but very reluctant to pay out, which found £420.

“The construction toys were dominated by two No.10 Meccano Sets both with blue, yellow and silver parts in oak chests. The slightly later version reached £1,150 and the earlier one £1,450. A much earlier Bayko “Light Constructional Set 2A”, together with an ‘Ornamental Additions Set B’, including some very rare Bayko parts sold for £425.

“The die cast vehicle sections started with a run of eight Shackletons Foden six- wheel tipper and platform lorries. Usually only one or so of these sturdy larger clockwork toys is seen in these rooms each year so this accumulation was a rare treat. Five of them were boxed and in generally good condition, the best being a blue tipper selling at £340, and a yellow tipper £360.

“Die cast sales generally appeared to be one of the few muted areas of the sale, and bidding was very selective. A Corgi GS16 Ecurie Ecosse Set found £200, a Corgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin in bubble pack £260, and a 267 Batmobile and 107 Bat Boat £250, all in good and boxed condition. A boxed Dinky 942 Foden 14 ton tanker “Regent” reached £200 and enthusiasm for job lots of playworn Dinkies allowed a collection of thirteen including an AEC Shell tanker and a Guy Slumberland van to find £380.

“Finally, the model railways and larger models were offered, and as usual the O gauge section, including potentially much older stock produced the better prices. Two items which produced little interest six months ago, woke up this time to sell well. They were a Midland and Great Northern 4-4-2 tank locomotive in mustard and yellow which found £640 and a Bassett-Lowke three rail electric 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth locomotive and tender selling for £780.

“In completely as new condition in its box with all its packing was an ACE Trains A4 Pacific locomotive and tender which sold for £750, a Hornby No 2 Special electric 4-4-0 locomotive ‘Eton’ reached £380 and a Hornby E220 electric train set with L.M.S. Compound locomotive and tender and two Pullman coaches went to its top estimate at £640.

The selection of scale models included stationary engines and mobile pieces of various types and scales.

“The best looking by far was a fine 1 ½” scale Allchin traction engine 26” long which sold at a double estimate of £2,700.

“Another similar engine, this time 2” scale, and in incomplete and unfinished condition still reached £1,105, and a 3 ½” gauge 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive ‘Salmon’ found £700.”