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Vintage tractor memorabilia fetches 'staggering' prices at auction

Jim Russell's 'breathtaking' collection of Ferguson tractor memorabilia was auctioned by Cheffins <i>(Image: Cheffins)</i>
Jim Russell's 'breathtaking' collection of Ferguson tractor memorabilia was auctioned by Cheffins (Image: Cheffins)

One of the world's largest collections of Ferguson tractor memorabilia attracted "staggering" bids from around the globe when it was auctioned in East Anglia.

More than 800 items, amassed over 50 years by the late Warwickshire enthusiast Jim Russell, went under the hammer at the Cheffins machinery saleground at Sutton, near Ely.

Auctioneers said many record prices were paid for sale lots including toys, catalogues, instruction manuals and models.

One of the most historically significant was a document containing the final signature written by Harry Ferguson, dated April 6, 1954, prior to his resignation as honorary chairman at Massey-Harris-Ferguson Engineering Ltd. This was sold for £3,248.

Eastern Daily Press:  A 1954 Harry Ferguson signature was part of Jim Russell's collection of Ferguson tractor memorabilia auctioned by Cheffins
Eastern Daily Press: A 1954 Harry Ferguson signature was part of Jim Russell's collection of Ferguson tractor memorabilia auctioned by Cheffins

A 1954 Harry Ferguson signature was part of Jim Russell's collection of Ferguson tractor memorabilia auctioned by Cheffins (Image: Cheffins)

Other eye-catching prices included the £9,296 which one eager bidder paid for a Ferguson Demonstration Model instruction book, while a 1936 Ferguson type-A tractor sold for £35,736, a scratch-built 1933 Ferguson black tractor made £13,440, and a Ferguson Demonstration model from 1949 fetched £11,220.

High prices were also paid for models including a Ferguson tractor diecast by Micro Models which made £2,240 and an Airfix Ferguson model tractor kit which sold for £2,016.

Cheffins associate Tom Godsmark said: "The Jim Russell Collection was one of the largest private collections of Ferguson models, tinplate toys and memorabilia to ever have come to auction and is most likely to be one of the largest of its type in existence.

"This was a very successful sale that saw bidding from all around the world, including Canada, Australia and throughout Europe, with many record prices achieved.

"The almost £10,000 paid for the Ferguson instruction book was a particular highlight, and the results of this sale go to show the enduring popularity of the Ferguson brand in vintage circles.

"Jim Russell was one of the most admired collectors in the field, and it was a pleasure to conduct such an auction."