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Scarce Voltamp model train may command $9K

One man's love for transportation and motion fueled his life, including his collecting efforts. Come Nov. 11 Bonhams will bring to auction more than 150 lots of toy trains and railroad memorabilia from this man's extensive collection.

LOS ANGELES — More than 150 lots of railway interest, all offered with no reserve, will appear at the Bonhams' sale of the Bothwell Collection on Nov. 11 at the Bothwell Ranch, Los Angeles.

Lindley Bothwell’s enthusiasm for model railways was well known, including models by noted makers including Voltamp, and he even constructed his own rail line and tram barn on his ranch in order to exercise his staggering collection of horse-drawn streetcars.

Voltamp 2100 standard gauge toy train

Seldom-seen Voltamp 2100 Standard Gauge locomotive ($7,000-$9,000).

Transforming a Love For Motion Into Collecting

Bothwell was a pioneer of the vintage and veteran racing scene, and was one of the first serious collectors of early motor cars. For many years, he was the owner of the largest private collection of antique automobiles in the USA. He was an avid racer, and broke a speed record at the Indianapolis Speedway in a 1913 Peugeot.

The sale will feature an impressive array of trains and railwayana, including toy and model Standard ‘S’ and ‘O’ gauge locomotives, tenders, carriages, rolling stock, track, trackside buildings, controllers and accessories from the most respected makers. Lionel Lines, American Flyer, Ives and the rare Voltamp all feature in the collection, alongside European makers such as Marklin, Bing, Karl Bub and Bassett-Lowke. All of the railwayana lots will be offered without reserve.

"The Bothwell Train Collection was carefully amassed over many years and contains some of the best examples of 20th Century American Toy Train engineering," said Toby Wilson, head of Bonhams Automobilia department.

Lionel 381 E Standard

Lionel 381 E Standard gauge 4-4-4 electric locomotive ($6,000-$8,000).

Rare Railroadanya

Highlights of the collection include a very rare Voltamp 2100 Standard gauge 4-4-0 ‘steam’ locomotive (US$7,000-9,000), a Lionel 381E Standard gauge 4-4-4 electric locomotive (US$6,000-8,000), and a Lionel 408E Standard gauge ‘State Brown’ 0-4-4-0 electric locomotive (US$6,000-8,000).

Two Buddy 'L' Toy Company lots are offered from Moline Pressed Steel, comprising: Outdoor Railroad Locomotive, tender and train (US$4,000-6,000) with a red box car, green tipper truck, black open hopper and black crane with scoop bucket, and Outdoor Railroad Locomotive, tender and train (US$4,000-6,000) which features a 4-6-2 locomotive and 8-wheel tender in black, a red tank car and a Locomotive Wrecking Crane with hook.

A selection of track and trackside buildings are included in the sale, all of which would make an excellent addition to any serious enthusiast’s collection. A Lionel 300 Standard gauge Hellgate Bridge is a particular highlight (US$800-1,200), as is the Lionel 116 Station with train control (US$600-800).

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Lionel 408 'State Brown' standard gauge train

Lionel 408E Standard gauge 'State Brown' electric locomotive ($6,000-$8,000). (All photos courtesy Bonhams)

Lionel station accessory

Lionel 116 station with train control ($600-$800).

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