Enough is not enough.
It is now forty-four years since I started to catalogue toy soldiers. Not long after that, it was my privilege to present the collection of pioneer collector Len Richards for sale at Phillips. In those days all I had to do was to sort the soldiers into suitable lots, write out a description and estimate on NCR paper, put aside the highlight lots for photography and stack the rest, stickered in sequence, neatly in the storage space provided.
Times have changed. Since the availability of computers and the internet, and the strictures of the Covid lockdown, international auctioneering has largely migrated online. This requires ever more detailed descriptions and photography for every lot. The last hard copy catalogue produced at C&T for toy soldiers was in 2019. It therefore gives me great pleasure that we are able on the occasion of the sale of the John Ruddle Collection, comparable in many respects to that of Len Richards, to provide a full colour ‘real’ catalogue with over a hundred illustrations. It is in all probability the last catalogue I will ever write, as it is now time for me to wind down my activities at C&T. After the March 2024 Toy Sale (which has now closed for toy soldier entries) I will be continuing to consult at C&T for toy soldiers and figures, but will no longer be accepting consignments in London.
I estimate that I have examined some three million toy soldiers and figures in preparing them to go under the hammer, and in every sale, especially in this one, there have been examples I have never seen before. I feel I have perhaps had enough of the preparation work by now, but I shall never have had enough of the pleasure of setting out, admiring and sharing the toys themselves!
For enquiries regarding our upcoming 6th December auction 'The Toy Soldier Collection of the Late John Ruddle', do get in touch with James Opie.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7794 7447 Email: email@example.com
James' final direct involvement in our toy auctions will be the 'Vintage & Collectible Toys including Toy Soldiers' Auction, set to take place on 6th March 2024. Following this sale in March, for toy soldier enquiries please contact our Toy Specialists, Glen Chapman or Leigh Gotch.