A Beginners Guide to Collecting Railwayana (Page 2)


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The most collected station signs are totems as they are a convenient size (36 x 10 inches), come in a choice of 6 colours, and every name has a connection for somebody.


BR(S) Barnstaple Town our world record breaking totem sold in our September 2006 auction for 10,550

For an introduction to totem collecting and prices guide click here

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Totems click here.

Southern Railway targets are not in the same league as they only come in one colour and many are from London suburban stations. Even so the top price is over 2000. Some LMS stations also carried aluminium target shaped signs called Hawkseyes. These also fail to excite the collector as much as totems. Originally the surface had small pieces of glass in the paint to reflect the station lights but many have now been restored and lost this originality.


 Two world record breaking signs from our February 2006 Auction with Clydach Halt realising a new figure for a Hawkseye of  1650 and Brasted smashing the previous record for an SR target with 3750.

For an introduction to target collecting and price guide click here

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Targets click here.

For a list of the Top 5 Prices in Auction for Hawkseyes click here.

Another very popular area of collecting is that of cast iron signs. These can date back to the early days of the railways and there are an enormous range of types from pre and post grouping railway companies. Signs vary significantly in size and can be very heavy but they do have the advantage of being able to be displayed in the garden! Prices range from 50 for a common untitled sign to 3000+ for rare one off examples.




For cast iron restoration tips click here.

For more aesthetically pleasing items carriage prints fill the bill with almost certain permission to display in the living room. Carriage prints look best displayed in original frames or original type replica frames with prices ranging from 20 for unframed common prints to 800+ for the rarest. As with any work of art only buy if you like the picture!


For an introduction to carriage print collecting click here

Also in the category of decorative household items are railway posters. They come in two main sizes to match station posterboards i.e. double royal (40 x 25) and quadroyal (40 x 50). Posters can be preserved by putting on canvas or by laminating to a backboard but the most sought after, and valuable, are unfolded and in good original condition. Prices depend on rarity and image and range from 10 to 5,000+ - letterpress only posters are always much cheaper. Posters are best framed and glazed but the QR varieties can become very heavy so plastic is often a better option than glass.


Nearly all collections have a railway clock in them. These come in all shapes and sizes. An excellent book on this subject has just been published called RAILWAY CLOCKS by Ian Lyman at 35 call 01536 516204 for details.


A fringe item for Railwayana collectors are jigsaw puzzles. Wooden puzzles were made by Chad Valley for the GWR for advertising purposes.


For an introduction to GWR Chad Valley Jigsaw collecting click here

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