Scarce static Bassett-Lowke made LMS "˜Coronation' locomotive and tender to be offered in 21st September 2016 Model Railway Auction.

12th September 2016

Offered as Lot 623 in our 21st September 2016 model railway auction, this scarce Bassett-Lowke made LMS streamlined ‘Princess Coronation’ Class, LMS 6220 ‘Coronation’ static locomotive and tender was most likely made in 1939 to promote the actual locomotive's visit to the New York World’s Fair in 1939. It is offered with an estimate of £1,500.


The vendor of the model has undertaken a great deal of research on the origin of the locomotive: -

“Though unconfirmed for this particular model, it is well known that Bassett-Lowke undertook private corporate commissions for display purposes. It would appear mine is one of these.

There is an incredibly small window in which such models could have been produced for the LMS. This highly secret project saw the actual locomotive appear from Crewe Works fully adorned just before being displayed as part of a major publicity event at Euston station in January 1939. Within weeks also in January 1939 it was shipped to the USA and undertook an extensive publicity tour ending up at the New York World Fair later that year.

The outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 left the engine stranded in the USA and with the threat of U Boat attacks was not considered safe to be brought back to England until later in the War. The LMS plans to launch the train in this country were abandoned amongst the focus on the war effort, followed by railway nationalisation after the war. The LMS would only therefore have been interested in commissioning such expensive hand built models during the small window surrounding the launch of the train and for its 1939 USA visit. It is presumed that more than one would have been commissioned but in total very few.

Potentially these small number of models could have been commissioned for the Euston publicity launch, for exhibition displays in America (although less likely to have got back here), for display in such grand places as the LMS General Manager's office or for associated publicity”. 

The full 21st September 2016 auction catalogue is now available. You can keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook accounts which will include updates of our latest auction news.

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