Morphy’s To Auction Key Pieces From War Hero’s Toy Aircraft Collection May 11-12 Sale items from the collection will include a 1930s Britains Short Bros. flying boat monoplane with original box, a number of Hubley cast iron examples form the 1920s and prewar German tin planes incl
German tin planes include Tippco productions from 1935 to 1942, including a Junkers JU-52, a Siebel twin-engine transport, and the only known surviving example of a Heinkel He-100. There are also rare prewar Rico (Spanish) and Ingap (Italian) craft, including the only known original examples of the CR-42 biplane fighter and the Macchi C.202; and a seldom-seen Chein (American) tinplate Martin seaplane. Arguably the largest tin toy ever produced, a Yonezawa tinplate 10-engine B-36 bomber had plenty of room to spread its expansive wings in the long-held Webster collection. Other Japanese highlights include a very clean, boxed B-50 bomber; a black and orange prewar Northrup Lindberg single-engine exploration plane – both by Yonezawa – and a Japanese-made four-engine B-29 bomber.
It’s always exciting for collectors to discover unassembled, prewar-era Dux constructor planes. The Webster collection contains two: a model of the German Stuka divebomber and a civilian Messerschmidt ME109. Both display colorful graphics on their boxes.
“We think collectors will have a field day with this collection, which has a lot of diversity to it,” said Sage. “Usually toy plane collectors concentrate on one category, for instance American-made or Japanese-made or cast-iron planes. There aren’t many who collect all toy planes, but GR was one of them. His collection is an overview of aviation history in toy form.”
From the GR Webster collection to be sold at Morphy’s May 11-12 auction: (left) Yonezawa B-36 tin bomber with 26-inch (66 cm.) wingspan, est. $600-$900; and (right) rare original box that accompanies a Britains Short Bros. flying boat monoplane with 14.25-inch (36.2 cm.) wingspan, Bakelite and heavy tin, made 1936 only, one of the rarest and most valuable airplane toys ever made, est. $12,000-$16,000. Morphy Auctions image.
Additional segments of GR Webster’s mammoth toy aircraft collection will be auctioned at auction houses in the USA and UK. The full list follows:
Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pa., will offer approximately 50 prized American cast-iron, English die-cast, and pre- and postwar European and Japanese airplanes in its May 11-12 Toy, Train & Doll Auction.
Affiliated Auctions, of Tallahassee, Fla., has been chosen to auction Webster’s aviation identification models, which were used in wartime to help military personnel identify both enemy and friendly aircraft by their shapes. The models are being incorporated into Affiliated’s regular monthly auctions.
Stephenson’s Auctioneers of Southampton, Pa. (suburban Philadelphia), will be auctioning a mixed selection of Webster’s toy airplanes in a May sale.
Lloyd Ralston Gallery, of Shelton, Conn., will sell US and Japanese planes, many tin aircraft and helicopters, diecast and boxed 1970s plastic planes and some Dinky Toys in their upcoming auctions.
Meanwhile in England, Vectis Auctions, of Stockton-on-Tees, is planning to include the collection’s rare British die-cast airplanes in a June auction, with a possible second auction to follow later this year.