James Opie has now passed his fortieth anniversary of auctioneering toy soldiers. He started out at Phillips, and went on to Christies and Bonhams. Now that all the major auction houses have closed their toy departments, James is with us at C & T, in the specialist toy team as the expert on toy soldiers and figures. Comprising in all over three million figures sold, he is one of the world’s pre-eminent toy soldier experts, with nine books on the subject in publication. He trained as a military historian, and for many years was known to the 40,000 members of the Military and Aviation Book Society as their Editor. Types of figures included in the sales come from all over the world, manufactured over the last two hundred years until the present day in tin, lead, composition, mazac, pewter or plastic among other materials. Britains, Heyde, Timpo, CBG Mignot, King and Country, Tradition, Lucotte and Elastolin are just a few of the famous makers on offer, as well as the breathtaking models of the master military modelers such as Stadden, Berdou and Metayer. Civilian figures also feature, together with the accessories of war and peace that complete a model world that has entranced children and adults down the ages.
James Opie has recently stepped back from sole Toy Soldier Specialist at C&T. Now offering his expertise in a consultancy role, assisting Leigh Gotch & Glen Chapman who will be taking up the Toy Soldier mantle!
Areas of expertise