Railwayana Including The Collection of Michael Max

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are delighted to present the extensive Michael Max Collection of railway books, periodicals, pictures, ephemera, medals, jigsaws and other collectables, in a sale of Railwayana at their saleroom in London’s Mayfair on Thursday 12th June 2014. The Collection will be auctioned alongside railway posters and collectables from other properties.

Virtually complete set of all the Great Western railway publications

Virtually complete set of all the Great Western railway publications

Michael Max: “The collection is not an archive. It is more a serendipity that has given years of pleasure as it has been collected and catalogued.”

The Michael Max Collection was amassed with passion and focus over 40 years. Despite an emphasis on Railways, the supremely diverse assemblage also includes works on engineering and other subjects linked to railways.

One of the superlative highlights is a virtually complete set of all the Great Western railway publications, estimated at £2,500-3,500. [Lot 118]

Another highlight from the vast array of books is the first proposal for Atmospheric Railway; Calculations and Remarks, tending to prove the Practicality, Effects and Advantages of a Plan for the Rapid Conveyance of Goods and Passengers upon an Iron Road through a Tube of 30 Feet in Area, by the Power and Velocity of Air, by George Medhurst, 1812, first edition. In principal, the atmospheric railway was a large scale version of the pneumatic tube system later used over many years for cash transportation in large retail stores. This is estimated at £500-700. [Lot 12]

Michael Max: “Paperwork from the early days of the railway inevitably suffers from age. Much is browned or foxed, some is very fragile because the paper used was very acidic, bindings have worn, cloth and leather have deteriorated, unprotected jackets are easily damaged…I have tried to ensure that all my books are not only complete but are also sound and capable of being handled so that they have good chance of survival in good condition.”

Also from the Collection is a very rare Great Western Railway jigsaw, ‘Lost in Transit! Damaged Through Thoughtlessness!” Never offered for sale to the general public, this fine survivor was only issued to Great Western Railway staff. It is estimated at £350-450. [Lot 362]

Leading the other properties in the sale are a number of colourful posters including Harwich for the Continent, LNER, by the father of the Art deco travel and railway poster, artist Frank H. Mason, 1878-1965. Estimated at £800-1,200 [Lot 417]

The sale will be held on Thursday 12th June at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale in London’s Mayfair. Viewing from Tuesday – Thursday 10-12th June. The catalogue is available to download or view online at