Published 23rd December 2014
After nearly 30 years, an extremely rare variation of a 1950s Matchbox model will be returning to auction at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in our Sporting and Collectors Sale of 25th February 2015. The opportunity to acquire such a unique piece will be a great attraction to any collector.
Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are honoured to have been instructed to undertake the sale of the collection of the Late Mr Phillip Tarbox. He was a passionate collector and member of The Matchbox International Collectors Association. His collection includes a rare variation of a Lesney ‘Model Of Yesteryear’ Y8, 1926 Cowley Bullnose Morris with a tow hitch.
An extremely rare Lesney First Series Model of Yesteryear Y8 Cowley Bullnose with tow hitch.
The story behind how Mr Tarbox acquired this rare variation of a well-known model is one that many collectors around the world dream of but only few ever have the opportunity. As a regular collector and buyer at auction, a simple catalogue description of ‘ten boxed Models of Yesteryear and two unboxed models’ in a sale in Exeter in April 1986 piqued his interest and he purchased the lot for a modest price.
On closer examination, the Bullnose model revealed that it had a tow hook on the rear of the chassis and so further investigation began. In the days long before email and social media, Mr Tarbox wrote to Matchbox and sent photographs of the model to confirm that it was correct.
Underside of Chassis.
Engineers from Matchbox thoroughly examined the piece and confirmed that it was correct and that it was not a manufacturing fault of excess casting or flash. This was also confirmed by the MICA members and magazine editor at the Farnham swapmeet in September 1986, and published in the MICA magazine. (Vol 2 No4 1986).
Rear View of Chassis
It is not known how many of these variations exist and they rarely come up at auction. Mr Tarbox’s model in its original box and a copy of the MICA magazine with his photographs are included in the sale. This provenance will no doubt help it achieve the upper end of its pre-sale estimate of £600-£800.