When the location of this sale was first announced, the general opinion was one of disappointment that it would not be on the mainland, supported by a view that a low attendance would inhibit values. Those views were soon to be confounded within 150 minutes as Murray Keefe of Chrystals at Ramsey hammered off the 270 engines and models listed, plus an additional eight boxes of office records, an extra model and two engines to seal "EVERYTHING SOLD" on Peter Fisher's lifetime collection. As if that was not enough, there were a further 28 items from local sources, all rapidly despatched with a pace that more than matched the familiar auctions of London and Leicestershire.
Two major contributions to the success of this auction were the arrival of many "hardcore" regular collectors from England and close attention to the commission bidders who left their top prices with the auctioneer. Overall, the wide range of engines Peter had been saving was exceptional. Rarities, prototypes and experimentals were intermixed with the conventional and offered opportunities for treasured acquisitions or utility bargains. Every engine was bagged with all Lot numbers in sequence and suspended at eye level around the centre of the ancient cattle market saleroom. During viewing, each example could be closely examined then re-sealed, an excellent arrangement which was to expose the only hiccup among all the descriptions. Previously identified from photographs, there had been a small number of corrections to the catalogue but none so serious as that for Lot 157, listed and bid for as a 2cc Dyno diesel. What surfaced was an Arne Hendy replica in miniature as a small 0.6cc ! It was withdrawn pending contact with the prospective buyers who had equally been deceived by photography.
Addition of the PK office archives opened up another major viewing attraction. Apart from plans, unmade kits, printing blocks and PK trading records, masses of MECA news with engine prices over the years, American SAM Speaks, British mags, Annuals and his personal design notes, there were scrap albums from school days. Photograph albums covered Peter Fisher's model flying from early times at Princes Gate, Kensington, Eton and in the RAF to his first factory at Coventry, then Sandy and finally in the Isle of Man. Happily none of that will go to the waste bin thanks to a consortium who bought it in the auction for the sake of conservation.
Engines carried on the mix of everyday values and good money for a cherished collectible. A £15 ED 2.46 racer was followed by £110 for a 1938 Baby Cyclone petrol. A Frog Vibramatic 1.49 went no further than £20 but the Mechanair 5.9 petrol fetched £120. Knowledge helped a fairly rare Frog 250 to reach £100 and also sank a 2nd Mechanair to only £25 while an original 1949 Dooling .61 achieved £300. Fisher had been a prudent collector with a penchant for small capacities. A 1970 Micron Meteore 0.9 went at £80 but the earlier '46 Maraget version reached £110. A couple of Frog 50s went at £70 & £80, and an original Frog .175 petrol at £150 was one of many for which original boxes were found.
Among surprises from competitive bidding, an Eta Elite went at £220, OSAM GB 16 for £170, and even a couple of Harold Kemp's, a 1.9 at £190 and a 4.4 all the way to £260. Better still, the 1946 Morton M-5 eclipsed all with £2100 after a pulse raising battle then a Kemp Hawk Mk.II 0.2 fetched £220 and a Saxby 0.375, £280 to emphasise approval of the miniatures. Workmanship in two Rawlings was also valued, a K30 at £120 and R18 at £160 but then a shocker as the Majesco Mite .735 soared through much paddle waving to go for £470. This was way above the big twins soon after. An OK 18cc stopped at £340, Wasp .60 at £210 and a Viking 65 for the same price. There were eight more twins, a glow Viking Wizard for £280, a D-C experimental twin Rapier at £270, Taplin Twin £200, P.K.Panther £220 and EmBee geared 1.5 £150. For only £120, a Ross twin was a snip. Anyone wanting to restore pneumatic R/C servos would need the Ruppert twin diesel with air pump at £220. Maybe an easier way to a flat twin was the Micron .48 new in its box at £160.
Among other bids, John Moore bought back the Marown Snipe he made for a realistic £45, a neat Schlosser .5 made £110, a Yulon .29 raised £150 and the George Ginns 1947 2.44cc diesel rose to £440. Combined brains failed to comprehend the Marshall Uniflow perhaps the top bidder (£90) and his tools will interpret for us. Bunch's Warrior went to good hands for £480, so did the finless Benson-Thorning at £320. Although revealed as a replica by its box, the Ace.5 still raised £110, and the genuine Comet .4 went to £360.
Altogether, a very successful well-run auction. Congratulations Chrystals. You certainly exceeded all expectations !
Please submit all questions and comments to email@example.com