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dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49
70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

                                                                                   Two extremely rare sets

Some French Dinky Toys were advertised in the September 1940 catalog but were never issued because of the invasion of the country and the German occupation of the Bobigny factory which was turned to Märklin production. Until recently, it was not known if any of these models advertised as "adjourned" had been made or not.

In February 2012, I was very lucky to learn that a set ref. 62 which had been advertised but that was not known to have been issued was going to be auctioned in Vendôme (France) only about 70 miles from where I live. Need less to say that I did not miss the opportunity and I called the auctioneer for a special appointment on the morning of the sale. I was very well welcomed by the auctioneer who brought the set on his desk so that I could photograph and measure it.

 

With these dimensions of 350 x 350 x 32 mm., the set 62 is the largest aeroplane sets and is very special as it contains a mix of seven aircraft, four from Liverpool and three from Bobigny. These are in numerical order :
60 r - Empire flying boat "Caledonia".
60 w - Clipper III Pan-American Airways.
62 n - Junkers 90 Deutsche Lufthansa.
62 p - Imperial Airways "Ensign".
64 a - Amiot 370.
64 c - Potez 63.
64 d - Potez 662.
all in silver finish and in excellent condition but for a loose propeller of the Potez 662.

The set had been offered to a kid of twelve who was then an eighty four years old barrister, it was first hand and had been owned by the same person for seventy two years. As the seller was selling all his collection, one can assume that all the aircraft in the set are the original ones even if some of the registrations do not match those of the Dinky Toys catalog's picture.

At 60.00 frs. This set was by far the most expansive item in the catalog. This price was exactly the total price for the seven individual planes.

Late last October, a friend collector called me to say that a set ref. 70 was to be auctioned by Collectoys of Bourges France the next week. The set 70 is the second set which was supposed to have been issued in 1939 but which nobody had seen before. Collectoys is in France the equivalent of Vectis in England, an auction house specialized in vintage toys.

Again, I called the auctioneer who very kindly asked me to come down to Bourges 150 miles away on the day before the auction. Never mind the distance, what would I not do to see this set. Collectoys has been sold last May to Cédric Casubolo a young gentleman with a great knowledge of Dinky and other vintage toys. I was very kindly welcomed and allowed upstairs in the holy of holies were the toys are sorted out, photographed and valued and wait until they are moved into the cabinets of the exhibition room. I suppose that when I entered these rooms my eyes doubled their size, there were so many fantastic toys to look at and there was the mythical set ref. 70. Imagine my excitement, I had admired, photographed and handled two of the rarest pre-war Dinky Toys set.

Unfortunately the 75 years old set is almost empty, only one fatigued model is left but pictures from the catalogs show that this set was very peculiar as instead of containing several models of the same series as usual with other sets from Meccano, the set 70 contained five very different models illustrating the period's means of transport, hence the set's name "Locomotion moderne" :
60 a Arc en Ciel aeroplane
23 b Hotchkiss racing car
53 Battleship Dunkerque on rollers
52 c Liner La Normandie on rollers
26 Renault Railcar on rollers (not Bugatti)

The box is identical to those of the period's 24 and 25 sets except for the printing, the size is 138 x 345 x 40 mm., the front folds down and the models are attached by a blue string through the bottom of the box, without a packing piece. The original price was of 27.50 frs. (sorry, I do not have the conversion rate into Sterling for 1940) and like for the set ref. 62, this price was exactly the total price for the five individual items, this is how we know that the ships were on rollers. Had they been without rollers, the price would have been 1.50 frs. cheaper.

Why was the Hotchkiss record car is included in this set is unexplained. Four of the models in the set are French and the Hotchkiss was made in England as it was not issued in France until 1939.

An other anomaly is that the word Dunkerque is printed in upper case on the box lid when all the other names are in lower case.

On Saturday November 7, the set 70 was auctioned to a British gentleman for € 2 400 + 20 % = 2 880 (£ 2 033) although a collector told me that he would bid up to 3 500 €.

Pictures of the set with all the models in it should be available soon.

Amazingly the owner of the set did not know how rare this box is, for him it was just an other Dinky Toys box, he will certainly have a good surprise when he receives the cheque for it's sale.

The next thing that I am looking for now is a good picture of a trade box for the Dolly Varden furniture. The furniture was available in sets for each of the house rooms but the Meccano price lists also give the price for each individual item which means that there were tradeboxes.

A large picture of either a French or English Dolly Varden tradebox would prove my theory and would be a great addition to the Dinky Toys Encyclopædia™. You can send it to our nice editor, she will certainly agree to forward it to me.

Jacques.

All pictures © The Dinky Toys Encyclopædia™


john45
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 04/07/2015 - 14:07

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

Hello Jacques,

Thanks for your excellent story on these famous French boxes and welcome back. It is very kind of you that you showed these pictures so other collectors can admire them also. It would be great to see the box complete with models. I have little to add to your story.

The boxes No 62 and No 70 were also pictured in the Dinky Toy leaflets from 1939, April, May and December. A PDF of this leaflet can be found on the DTCA site from my collection. The Meccano Bobigny pricelist September 1940 still lists the No 70 Coffret "Locomotion moderne" at Francs 32. The Coffret luxe Avions No 62 is indicated as suspendu in this pricelist.

John.


alkeeling's picture
alkeeling
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AdministratorUK
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:32

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

Thanks for the information Jacques.  It must have been a treat to see this rare box 70.    Now I wonder if both these sets were really marketed or were they demonstrations...  perhaps prototypes of products that were ultimately not to be?   Set 70, as you noticed, has the Dunkerque written in an odd typeface.  Also, the title is missing!  Where the similar boxes 24 and 25 were titled Automobiles and Camions, this box just has a big blank space.   The customary paris factory address line is also missing from the long sides of the lid.

I just finished building seven copies of set 70  - just need to punch the stringing holes.  Christmas is coming.


dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

Al,

We know that the set 62 has been purchased in a shop in Tours and offered to a teenager who must be over 80 and sold it in February 2012, so it is a production model. It contained a mix of French and English aircraft.

The set 70 also contained a mix of French and English models and as the supply of English Dinky was stopped after September 1939 very few of both these sets must have been issued. Of course most of the boxes were trashed immediately after been given, very few must remain in private collections. The owner of Collectoys told me that he thinks that there is as second set 70 somewhere.

As some of the models were made in England, the boxes could not be printed with : "Fabriqué en France par MECCANO Paris" as on the similar sets 24 and 25, this is why the sided of the box lid is left plain.

Were most of these sets taken by the Germans and given to the children of nazi officers ?


alkeeling's picture
alkeeling
Offline
AdministratorUK
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:32

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

The late french dinky leaflets from 1939 in which set 70 is also pictured (and there's one extravagantly for sale on ebay at the moment) shows that the french 23b can be purchased separately for 3.5 francs  - and this is titled "Hotchkiss de course".  The picture shows the french 23b that we know - diagonal radiator lines, round nose and single-pane windscreen.  This is more like a renault nervasport than a hotchkiss, of course.      The picture of the car in the 70 set also looks more like the french than the uk 23b, so I would say all the models in the box were of french origin.

We will likely never know the full explanation, but that this set is a trade sample (or one of several samples) still seems possible.


dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
Offline
DTCA MemberFrance
Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 16:49

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

Al,

I agree that the drawings of the set 70 in the February and March 1939 leaftets show the Renault car but the box is printed with Hotchkiss so there must be an error some where.
Is the error the printing of the name Hotchkiss instead of Renault or is the error the Renault in the drawing instead of the Hotchkiss.

Who can tell ?

 

 


alkeeling's picture
alkeeling
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AdministratorUK
Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:32

Re : 70 - Coffret Locomotion moderne.

Ken found an autorail to fill up the box and sent along a few pictures of the set in all its glory.