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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Full Steam Ahead for Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Transport Sale

A 2 inch scale model of a Shand Mason horse drawn fire engine will see Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ steam ahead to their first transport sale of 2014, due to be held in Donnington Priory on Tuesday 18th March.

A precursor to the motorised fire engine, introduced in the early 20th century, the horse drawn fire engine with a steam pumper was the most successful fire appliance of the Victorian era. Originally invented in 1829-30 by John Braithwaite, a partner in the engineering firm of Brathwaite and Ericsson of London, the Shand Mason & Co engine was the first to be successfully manufactured, and was used for more than 40 years having been introduced in 1858.

A vertical water tube boiler produced steam for the pumping engine that could pump at 200 strokes per minute and push water through the hoses to extinguish the fire. This model replica has both a fully working live steam engine and pump. It is estimated to sell for £2,000 – 3,000. [Lot 42]

A model of the award winning 4 Cylinder Mallet C3 articulated Locomotive invented by the Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet can be found elsewhere in the sale.

The Mallet Locomotive is a particular type of articulated steam railway locomotive. The design is a compound system that comprises a rigid chassis at the rear of the train carrying two high-pressure cylinders, and an articulated front driving truck with two low-pressure cylinders.

Although a Mallet locomotive was never seen on a British railway, the concept found success in Europe and the US in the late 1800’s and in 1908 Mallet was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal by The Franklin Institute. It is the highest award issued by the institute and was given to him in acknowledgement of the improvements he had made to the articulated locomotive. The model is estimated to sell for £3,000 – 4,000. [Lot 6]

An exhibition quality example of a 1 inch scale model of a Burrell Agricultural Traction Engine is already generating pre-sale interest. Established in 1770 and based in Thetford, Norfolk, Charles Burrell & Sons were builders of steam traction engines, trucks, tram engines and agricultural machinery.

During the early 20th century, and at the height of production, Burrell employed 350 people and expand production to produce 104 engines in a year. 1905 saw them produce their first steam tractor, on which the design of this model is based. This un-painted example is a replica of the single cylinder engine and is estimated to sell for £3,000 – 4,000. [Lot 21]

The sale will be on view at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, on Monday 17th March. Online bidding with no additional premium will be available via