A camouflaged tin monoplane, a toy plane made in Britain in 1941 was auctioned for $15,969. The auction of World War II memorabilia was held by Bonhams. The toy plane has an emotional history and a reason why it remained packaged in its original box for 70 years. It was bought as a gift for a boy in Bristol in 1941. Bristol was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Britain during the World War II. The city was the focus of the Nazi German Luftwaffe because of the presence of Bristol Harbour and the Bristol Aeroplane Company. Unfortunately, the innocent kid who had received this toy plane as a gift died in one of the bombings and could never play with it.
Only 3 Pieces Were Made by the British Toy Manufacturer
Since the owner of the toy had died a tragic death it was shifted to the loft in its original packing and remained untouched and undisturbed for about 70 years. Ina a way, it was discovered recently and significantly it was found wrapped in an old newspaper which also features a story about how the city of Bristol had been bombed heavily. Bristol was bombed heavily even two days before the Blitz that claimed the young owner of the toy plane. Another fact that made the toy plane very rare was that it was one of only three pieces made by British toy manufacturer W. Britain. They were the ones who pioneered the lead casting toy soldiers and made camouflaged-painted toys before switching to help the war effort.
An American Collector Bid Successfully for the Toy Plane
The toy plane was priced at a little over 9 shillings in 1941 and was purchased from Gyles Brothers of Bristol. It had also gained tremendously in value because it was still packaged in its original box and in perfect mint condition. There were many bidders who were interested in the particular war memorabilia but it was an American collector who succeeded with his bid of $15,969. The other highlights of the sale were a World War II German Enigma enciphering machine (pictured above) built by Heimsoeth and Rinke in 1941. These machines were originally designed for civilian and commercial purposes but were later appropriated for German military use only.