Cash In The Attic

Attic Antiques


  • H&H says dig out those Dinky Toys and old car brochures - you never know what they might be worth!

A rash of TV programmes on antiques has got everybody searching their lofts for hidden treasures. Among them could be some valuable items of motoring memorabilia. H&H Classic Auctions’ automobilia expert Matthew Kershaw offers the following advice:

"Let's start with a word of caution - just because it's old, doesn't necessarily mean it's valuable. Since the boom and crash of the late '80s, buyers have become much more discerning, causing prices for the best items to rocket, and those of undesirable, tatty objects to plummet. One has to be wary of forgeries too.

"In general, modern items do not fetch high prices unless linked to a prestigious name such as Ferrari. Pre-war items are very much in demand, however. People didn't expect them to become valuable, so many are now rare and hard to come by. Condition is important and patina of age helps to confirm originality. Provenance is helpful and paper proof is of particular value.

The good news

"So what is making the money right now? Pre-war motorsport items are much in demand - programmes, signatures, photos, clothing, scrap books etc. Pre-war sales literature is good news too, as are some specialist post-war items - eg Aston Martin brochures etc. Pre 1970 models are a perennial favourite, especially such big names as Dinky and Corgi. Mascots are sought after as well, be they marque originals or aftermarket add-ons, such as those produced by Lalique.

"Most car enthusiasts are potential purchasers of automotive art, a fact not lost on the publication fraternity who have flooded the world with limited edition prints. Though they give much pleasure to many, few are valuable. Good quality originals by renowned artists are, however, still climbing in worth. If you find a Gordon Crosby original under the eaves, you can afford to jump for joy!

"There is a steady market for garage ephemera such as enamel signs and light boxes. Condition is everything with these items and good quality originals will always fetch more than restored examples. Dashboard instruments for early vehicles are popular and spare parts for prestige pre-war cars such as Bentleys and Rolls-Royces are sought after. There is always a demand for interesting manufacturers' handbooks and workshop manuals too.

"Examples of automobilia prices recently achieved by H&H include:

  • 1929 Rolls-Royce Owners’ Handbook - £440
  • 1908-1913 RAC Member’s Badge - £715
  • 1958 BRDC Dinner Dance Menu signed by Mike Hawthorn, Colin Chapman and others - £1,210
  • 1949/1950 Austin Pathfinder Pedal Car - £3,080
  • "Take a peak in your attic - you never know what you might find or what it might be worth!"

Further details of Europe's leading specialist historic car auction house can be found on the company's website -

16 October 2005 Staff

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